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LIBRARY GUIDE TO ENG 4900 - Medical Narrative & Literary Nonfiction

Information for the Public
Statistics and incidence rates are often collected and reported by government organizations. Here are a few governmental sites (and NGOs) that can contextualize the public knowledge of your medical narrative (as opposed to information for experts):

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Contains research article summaries, fact sheets, statistics, practical information for diagnosis, and survivor stories--excellent resources for a lay audience; limited to the United States. Select "diseases and conditions" from the menu for well-organized information on cancer, STIs, etc.

Sponsored by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, Medline is also a source of practical, patient-centered information on various health topics, drugs and supplements, including information on treatment, risk factors, therapies, news, etc.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

World Health Organization
Select "health topics" or "publicatons" from the top menu to browse health issues from a global perspective. The WHO contains multitudes, so start with CDC and Medline--especially if your topic isn't globally focused.
Historical and Cultural Approaches to Health
Try some of the following subject headings to delve into health-related topics from humanities-based approaches:

medicine in art
medicine in literature
melancholy in art
physicians in literature
mentally ill in literature
healing in literature
cancer in adolescence
pediatric oncology
Alzheimer's disease
diagnostic errors
postpartum depression

Also try searching for phrases such as < history > and < illness > as subjects in the Library catalog to find other books, such as the following examples: Swap out < illness >  for your ailment of interest, such as < cancer >, < asthma >.
Still no luck? Try your terms as keywords in the catalog or Library OneSearch, or take your search to MelCat to find books outside of Kresge.

Other Resources for Historical Primary Sources
New York Times Historical

Early English Books Online
Contains digital facsimile page images of virtually every work printed in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and British North America and works in English printed elsewhere from 1473-1700 - from the first book printed in English by William Caxton, through the age of Spenser and Shakespeare and the tumult of the English Civil War.

Eighteenth Century Collections Online
180,000 titles (200,000 volumes) including books, pamphlets, essays, broadsides and more. Works published in the UK during the 18th century plus thousands from elsewhere. Based on the English Short Title Catalogue.
Library Contact
Picture: Emily Spunaugle

Emily Spunaugle
Assistant Professor, Humanities Librarian

On Beginnings
English major? Nervous about researching medical information? Some access points:
  • Start with the "Information for the Public" box, just to the left. Use these resources, which are intended for lay audiences, to build up your knowledge base before diving into the "Research and Practitioner Databases" box below.
  • Science Daily
Short synopses of research articles in clear language. Read the summary to know how to conceptualize the content, then locate the article in our holdings and read it.
For Reference and Definitions
Wikipedia can be useful for a general understanding of an illness or condition, but use the following resources for the clinical definitions used by practitioners. Other interesting reference books:

Research and Practitioner Databases
CINAHL Complete
The Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL) is a full-text database for nursing and allied health journals from 1937 to present. Includes access to scholarly journal articles, dissertations, magazines, pamphlets, evidence-based care sheets, books, and research instruments. How to Export to RefWorks

Restricted to OU students, faculty, and staff AccessMedicine  A collection of 60 full-text medical and basic sciences books from McGraw-Hill, including Harrison's Textbook of Medicine. Also includes images, videos, diagnostic tools, patient education handouts, and drug information.

Restricted to OU students, faculty, and staff Thanks to Mel Alt-Health Watch  Complementary, holistic and integrated approaches to health care and wellness are included here. Many articles are available full-text.

Restricted to OU students, faculty, and staff PsycINFO
PsycINFO provides access to international literature in psychology and related disciplines such as psychiatry, education, business, medicine, nursing, pharmacology, law, linguistics, and social work.

Restricted to OU students, faculty, and staff Thanks to Mel Nursing Resource Center
Mostly Full-text. Brings together disease and drug overviews, care plans, relevant journal results and animated anatomy and physiology diagrams and core encyclopedia texts. Access ended 9/30/2018.

Restricted to OU students, faculty, and staff PILOTS (Published International Literature On Traumatic Stress)  sponsored by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Its goal is to include citations to all literature on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental-health sequelae of traumatic events, without disciplinary, linguistic, or geographical limitations, and to offer both current and retrospective coverage

Restricted to OU students, faculty, and staff UpToDate  A large, evidence-based online resource covering thousands of internal medicine, pediatric, and OB/GYN topics. Designed to answer point-of-care clinical questions.


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