Library Link: April 2020

Hello, Library Linkers!

We have a jam-packed newsletter for you this month! Highlighting all of the new resources and information we have curated to help support your work and interests.

Click the newsletter for an interactive PDF version.


If you have any questions please do not hesitate to reach out to

Supporting Your Information Needs During COVID-19

By David Lightfoot, Information Specialist

SARS CoV 2/COVID19 has stretched the capacity of healthcare systems around the globe, not just with numbers of patients, but the sheer novelty of the virus. As the disease spreads faster than research, communication among researchers is vital. Unity Health Toronto Health Sciences Library staff take our roles in this seriously, and while our doors are closed, we are busy as ever in our remote locations.

Our supporting role began when we were asked to compile news stories for the Unity Health Command Centre as part of their daily briefing. Members of the Command Centre team are given statistical updates, including a short a précis of Canadian and international news. The Library also opened a new Twitter account dedicated to following key policy makers—Canadian Health Ministers, politicians, the CDC—and set up automated Google searches.

Since then we have been approached by Unity Health staff and physicians to answer questions on more than 20 different topics related to COVID-19 that have informed decisions on patient care, including updating directives and procedures, and best practices.

At the same time, publishers around the globe have opened up access temporarily to ensure that the transfer of knowledge about SARS CoV2 is fast and reliable. Our job is to make sure the staff of Unity Health is aware of these resources.

COVID-19 resource guide prepared by the Health Sciences Library

COVID-19 resource guide prepared by the Health Sciences Library

We created a COVID-19 online resource guide comprised of curated information and tools to support all Unity Health staff and physicians for patient care, research, and policy development. This guide promotes the popular point-of-care tools UpToDate (now open access and free for all for April 2020) and Dynamed, as well as dozens of pre-print publications. The guide is continuously updated daily as new information evolves or is made available. It also provides users with pre-built PubMed searches and filters to save time and speed the work of others.

Please take advantage of these resources and contact us with your information needs and inquiries, and reach out with any opportunities for collaboration to support the evidence-based information needs of you, your team, and your care practices.

Library Support for COVID-19

The Library Services team would like to highlight three tools developed to help Unity Health Toronto staff and physicians throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

1) COVID-19 Resource Guide 

To support Unity Health Toronto’s staff and physicians, the Library team has curated a guide of new COVID-19 resources and access points to help during this pandemic. This online resource includes newly available COVID-19 resources from UpToDate and DynaMed, as well as pre-populated COVID-19 PubMed searches. It is continuously updated to include the latest information and newly available resources. 


2) Resources for Easing Anxiety and Stress Through COVID-19

This Blogpost includes three lists of resources, including, apps, e-books, and other online resources that can be used to help mitigate and reduce stress and anxiety amidst COVID-19.


3) Off-Site Access How-To Guide:

Considering many Unity Health Toronto staff members are working from home, accessing resources while off-site is a crucial component to running “business as usual”.

St. Michael’s:

To facilitate access to the library’s electronic resources (such as eBooks, databases, and journal articles) easier from home or off-site, we have created this guide to streamline the process for you:

  1. From off-site, visit and login to Citrix
  2. Once logged in, click the Intranet icon. The Intranet portal will open in a new browser. This browser window will “behave” as though you’re on-site, and you will have full access to all of the library’s electronic resources.
  3. Click “Library Search” (on the left, beneath “Quick Links”), or type “” in the address bar.


St. Joesph’s:

To access the library’s electronic resources (such as eBooks, databases, and journal articles) from home or off-site you must authenticate yourself as a St. Joseph’s Hospital staff, physician or student. To do so:

  1. Using any internet browser navigate to and then click on the FOR STAFF link
  2. You will be re-directed to the FOR STAFF page, from here click on the Citrix Remote Access link
  3. Next you will be prompted for a username and password, enter your St. Joseph’s username and password (the same username and password used to access any Hospital computer) and hit Log On
  4. Once you have entered our login information you will be brought to the SJNet home page, and your internet browser will operate the same as a computer at the Health Centre




If you have any questions about the tools created by the library please reach out to, we’re happy to be of service through these trying times.

Easing Anxiety and Stress Through COVID-19

With the advent of COVID-19, even healthcare professionals experience stress, anxiety, and uncertainty in times of adversity, and that’s okay! To help mitigate and manage feelings of stress and anxiety, the Library team has compiled 3 lists of apps, e-Books, and online resources to help promote positive mental health, mindfulness, and a personal sense of calm.

5 Apps to Ease Anxiety and Stress



Headspace is a mindfulness meditation app designed to guide the user through meditations for a variety of different contexts, including work, sleep, stress and anxiety.  Headspace has recently released a specific meditation guide to support the community through COVID-19. Access these resources here:


Clear Fear

Clear Fear is a free app designed to help the user face anxieties, providing techniques and activities based around Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. The app includes a journaling component to help track your thoughts and feelings throughout difficult times.

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Smiling Mind

Smiling Mind is a free app that was developed by psychologists and educators to help bring balance to the user’s life. With meditation programs specialized for adult users, work stress, and multiple language options, this app can assist in calming anxieties and obtaining an optimistic outlook.

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Stop, Breathe & Think

Designed to help the user do exactly as it says: stop… breathe… and think. It’s easy to get carried away by anxieties, and taking time for oneself to reflect can help bring back balance and calm.


Insight Timer

Advertised as the number 1 top free app for sleep, anxiety, and stress. Insight Timer has a wide selection of meditation topics, categories, and programs to address whatever the user might be facing. They’re also beta-testing team programs to increase community spirit within the app.

5 e-Books to Ease Anxiety and Stress

To access these e-Books you must be located at a Unity Health Toronto site. If you are off-site you must first login remotely. Please contact the IT Help Desk for support.

Mindfulness for Careers : How to Manage the Demands of Caregiving While Finding a Place for Yourself

Book Jacket“Carers are particularly vulnerable to feeling stressed, worried and worn down by the vast demands that often come with caregiving, be they physical, psychological or emotional. Mindfulness can be enormously beneficial to carers, whether professional or voluntary, as a means of developing greater inner stability, resilience and gaining more control over their thoughts, feelings, and emotions.”

Clinical Handbook of Mindfulness

chomThis comprehensive guide goes into detail discussing and reviewing theories and concepts behind mindfulness, understanding fear, trusting one’s own experiences, mindfulness-based interventions, and more. Perfect for a reader who is interested in an academic perspective on mindfulness. 

Caring Science, Mindful Practice: Implementing Watson’s Human Caring Theory

Book Jacket

Caring Science, Mindful Practice offers unique and practical project examples that nurses will consider for their practice or educational settings. With its integration of Watson’s caring science and mindfulness principles, Sitzman and Watson have extended knowledge of Watson’s caring science and caritas processes through integrating Thich Nhat Hahn’s mindfulness perspective and practices.”.

Mindfulness at Work Essentials for Dummies


Mindfulness at Work Essentials for Dummies is designed to help the reader understand how mindfulness works, and how the brain will incorporate these techniques into new behavioral patterns. Incorporating these routine suggestions can help increase productivity at work.

Overcoming Secondary Stress in Medical and Nursing Practice: A Guide to Professional Resilience and Personal Well-Being

ossimpThis work is structured to help healthcare professionals develop the tools needed to be able to manage stress and develop resilience. Resilience at work can help support health workers’ personal well-being. Providing tools, questionnaires, concept models, and descriptions of the kinds of support systems needed to have a balanced personal and professional life.

5 Online Resources to Ease Anxiety and Stress

Health and Wellness for Health Professionals

Library Services staff at Unity Health Toronto have curated a list of resources to support health and wellness for Health Professionals. This online resource guide provides information to support health workers’ personal health and wellness for day-to-day practice and in trying times.

CAMH (Centre for Addiction & Mental Health)

CAMH has put together a series of articles to help the community understand, and develop strategies to cope with stress and anxiety caused by COVID-19.

CMHA (Canadian Mental Health Association)

Canada Mental Health Association’s page for COVID-19 provides a list of resources on how to respond to employee anxiety around COVID-19, how to offer support throughout these stressful times, and suggests reliable sources to find information on the virus.

APA (American Psychological Association)

The APA has created a guide designed to help individuals build resilience. Personal resilience can help support and provide calm for individuals when life brings unexpected twists and turns.


HeretoHelp allows you to look for resources from two perspectives, to support yourself, or to help support others. They have developed a guide to support our communities throughout COVID-19. This guide walks the reader through how to take care of one’s self amidst the pandemic, how to help others and resources to support anxiety management.

If you have any questions about these resources feel free to contact The Library team wishes all health, happiness, and peace of mind!

Unity Health Toronto Library Closures

Effective Tuesday March 17 at 3PM, the Health Sciences Library spaces at Unity Health Toronto will be closed until further notice. Library services such as literature searches, research/information inquiries, and interlibrary loan requests (articles only) will continue to be available remotely for all Unity Health Staff from Monday to Friday, 8AM to 6PM. All online Library resources are still available 24/7. Due dates for borrowed materials will be suspended indefinitely.

Please find contact information for each site below:

St. Joseph’s:

St. Michael’s:




If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Zack Osborne, Manager of Health Information & Knowledge Mobilization at or 647-521-9397.

Freedom to Read Week- February 23-29

Freedom to Read KitThis week is Freedom to Read Week, an annual event that encourages Canadians to reaffirm their commitment to intellectual freedom as guaranteed under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Unity Health Toronto Library Services invite you to participate in defending your right to access information. In medical research selective reporting practices can result in information being censored, or misleading. By learning more you can increase your awareness of selective reporting practices, and identify resources that can be used to find unpublished trial results. 


In biomedical literature, reporting practices that distort the interpretation of results to present results in more a more favorable light are referred to as “spin”. Spin refers to a biased presentation of data, such as an over extrapolation or selective interpretation of results, or the use of unwarranted casual language.  Due to the incentive to publish positive results, spin is especially prevalent in clinical trials. Therefore, spin can negatively impact further research, health practice, and policy.  Users of biomedical literature should be aware of the prevalence and manifestations of spin within their area of research in order to ensure accurate interpretation of results and avoid misinformation.  


Selective reporting practices are also prevalent in drug trials. “Drug repositionings” are methods that drug companies use in a trial to repurpose and remarket previously approved drugs. Repositioning is used to position a drug for a specific outcome within a trial, to obtain expedited approval or reduced cost. Selective reporting methods, such as a single over extrapolated example and omission of other data, are used in order to position drugs favorably. Negative or unfavorable results from drug trials often remain unpublished. This results in incomplete and misleading published information about a drug. In response to this, AS Brown and CJ Patel created the  RepoDB Drug Repositioning Database, a publicly available database containing comprehensive results from drug trials, including negative or failed drugs. You can use this database to find complete information about trials of a specific drug.


Works Cited

Chiu, K. Grundy Q. Bero, L. ‘Spin’ in published  biomedical literature: A methodological systematic review. PLoS Biology 15(9) (2017).


Brown, AS. Patel, CJ. A standard database for drug repositioning. Scientific Data; 4 (170029) (2017).


Further Reading

Korevaar, DA. Salameh, J‐P. Vali, Y, et al. Searching practices and inclusion of unpublished studies in systematic reviews of diagnostic accuracy. Res Syn Meth 2020; 1– 11 (2020).


Ioannidis, John PA, Caplan, Arthur L, et al. Outcome reporting bias in clinical trials: why monitoring matters. BMJ 2017; 356 (j408) (2017).  



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