SJPL Database Delight Training

Week 10: Consumer Health Complete

Posted on: June 3, 2010

Consumer Health Complete (CHC) provides content covering health and wellness in plain English for non-medical experts.  Content ranges from mainstream medicine to the many perspectives of complementary, holistic, and integrated medicine. This full text database covers topics such as aging, cancer, diabetes, drugs & alcohol, fitness, nutrition & dietetics, children’s health, men & women’s health, etc.  Not only does CHC include full text articles and reference books, but also includes images, diagrams, and video content.  Also included is information on prescription drugs and some herbal remedies.

Two tips: CHC does not contain a thesaurus of subject terms so you have to know the exact term for subject searching. It can also be difficult to intuitively find the area for browsing publications by title (first go to the advanced search page and then select the link for “publications”).

This database, like our others, is accessible from SJPL public computers and outside of the library with a San Jose Library card number and PIN.

For a good walk through of CHC, check out the Consumer Health Complete Tutorial.


  1. How many news reports with the subject “H1N1 (2009) influenza” were published in November 2009?
  2. Which publication is NOT available through CHC? (1) Nature (2) New Beginnings (3) Eating Out.
  3. Alli is a nonprescription supplement  for weight loss available over the counter in many drug stores.  A friend is considering buying  it and asks you to find out more information. Find a fact sheet in simple or plain English that that answers the following questions:  What are its side effects?  Who shouldn’t take this supplement? Do you need to be on a special diet? (Note: Alli is a brand name: this supplement may be known/marketed under other names.)

Don’t forget to leave a comment below to register your participation, and then go bid on a prize!


173 Responses to "Week 10: Consumer Health Complete"

1. 316 – I used the advanced search function and limited to Nov. 2009 and News as a document type.
2. Nature
3. I searched Alli in the basic search box, then clicked on the ‘Fact Sheets’ tab. Only one fact sheet was in English, and it seemed to answer all of her questions.

Great database. A little more simplistic than others in the Health section of our web links, but I like the Ebsco functionality since we are all used to it.

Very helpful resource.

Nice database. I like the different language options. It is really easy to search. I like that it includes alternative medicine, so that customers can view the studies on these treatments.

These types of databases are very useful, but I still trust the mayo clinic site the most.

My preference is MedlinePlus which links to a number of reliable sources, depending on what the topic is.

I found the answer to the first question in two ways. One was to put H1N1, Novermber 2009 in the search field. I also used the advanced search. They both seem to give the answer.
I did the rest of the exercise. This is very resourceful.

This week database is very useful.

The third exercise was the most difficult for me. Does liver damage count as a side effect?

This is an interesting database, but I still find Google and WebMD easier to use. However, these articles are more reliable as far as information goes. They’re all propery cited and stuff at the college level.

Week 9- The tutorial was actually hard for me to find. It is very easy to search for authors.
Week 10- This week database gives out very useful information.

This is such a wonderful resource for anybody whose interested in certain medical information. I can see this being useful for everyone.

this weeks database was useful. It’s good for finding all sorts of info on medicine and so on. I found some good useful information for kids dealing with anxiety!

Leticia Jauregui is from East Branch.

it’s an interesting tool. I would use it for medical research papers. thanks a bunch!

this one is really interesting and useful! =)

Handy database for medical research. Fairly intuitive if you know what you’re looking for. Article meta tags could be a bit more thorough, however. Also, again, can we please just get a direct link to the databases we need to train with on this site?

These are subscription databases available only to SJPL customers only through the website -SJPL articles and databases is the starting point!

Good, solid database. Very easy to use, though locating publications were a little clunky.

This database is very easy to use. It took me 5 minutes to find all the answers.

A good resource for consumer health information.

I like this database! I will definitely spend more time looking around on it. It is very informational and interesting!

It was an easy and useful database to use. Like someone commented previously I also use medline plus for similar information. I did like the feature that articles and i nformation could be translated into a variety of other languages.

I like the different language options,a good resource for consumer health information.

This seems like a useful database for reliable health-related information. The search is user friendly. I did have trouble locating fact sheets for the weight loss drug however.

need more time. but good resource.

I like this database, very usefull and pretty easy to use for anyone looking for health and medical related info.

This seems a very comprehensive database. I couldn’t locate any fact sheet for Alli although I limited the search to the fact sheet category.

If you run a search for “Alli” and then select the “Fact Sheets & Pamphlets” option, you should get to the Fact Sheet for the product. Give that a try and if it still doesn’t work, give me a call 🙂

Carol Valentine Access Services at King week 10. This site did take some time to figure out how to access exercise answers.

I was able to figure out the first question with ease, this site is a good tool to use.

I found the info pretty quick – this is another great tool. I like the arrangement of information from the main page.

I really like this resource. I often use it when answering health related questions in Spanish when I work at Biblioteca.

The option to switch between English and other language is helpful because customers sometimes come with the health terms in English from their doctors.

There are less articles in Vietnamese while articles in English are plentiful.

I love Consumer Health Complete, and I use it all the time. It’s a great resource for student research papers in particular. You can usually get a good variety of consumer health type info, and medical studies.

This is a good database to have. Took a moment to figure out all the searches, but once that was done, it was very easy to use. Lots of information.

Google and WebMD are good for basic info but this database gives quite a bit more info and can be very helpful to our patrons. I just wish that the search engine was a bit more detailed as far as finding specific publications.

Can you tell me more about what you mean when you say you want the search engine to find specific publications better? Perhaps this is a suggestion we can forward to the vendor.

This database is very easy to use, you can find anything you’re looking for without any problems. Great resource.

Very cool database. It was easy to use, I found all the answers quickly. I totally recommend this database.

Very good and easy to use.

i liked the fact sheets and pamphlets tab. it gave you simple information when not looking for too much research. the articles were great also. if i was going to school for a health career this would be great!

good database for customers when they want specific health topics. definetly going to refer..

Wow I would need more time too….
#1- I stopped once I was at 12! So 12+.
#2- nature?
#3- That’s part of me needing more time 😉

With so many articles to scroll through, information is endless on this database!

It’s usually a bad sign when a health database that hopefully contains factual information resorts to exaggeration in its title: c’mon, “Complete”? That sarcastic note aside, this database is quite user friendly. The content is written at a rather low reading level for this subject matter, and there are many attractive images which break up the content and provide complementary information and visual cues for the user. The addition of 21 languages besides English should be a bonus — again, depending the accuracy of the translations, especially important in a health database! Of course, this database seems suspiciously similar in design and content to the free government health website MedlinePlus. To check out MedlinePlus, click on my name above.

I went to the CHC, narrowed my search results with respect to the publication date (Nov. 2009 – Nov. 2009), and typed in the key phrase– found only 76 results that pertained to H1N1 (2009) influenza.

CHC contained a lot of publications except for NATURE…maybe it’s too expensive perhaps? (just kidding! Nature is more about science).

As for the Alli, oh my gosh that took forever. If I ever have a friend like that, I guess I would referred her/he to the pharmacist at Target for sure. okie, just kidding. I typed in “Alli” and then selected the “Fact Sheets & Pamphlets” and turned out, its marketed name is “Orlistat”… also goes by the name of Xenical… a lipase inhibitor. Side effects such as gas, etc. were pretty ugly to mentioning them all here. Wow!

Overall, I sort of like this CHC database mainly because it allowed you to use the Boolean operator for keyword searches 🙂

It is pretty easy to find the info with the advance search. I specified the date as from Nov 2009~Nov 2009. 106 articles were found.

Pretty good site and at first it sounds perfect but doing after doing a few searches I was a bit disappointed.

The information seems rather meager even if it is for in plain English for non-medical experts.

It might be useful for grade school or high school students doing projects.

Jeremy, I’m sorry to hear you thought the information was meager. What did you think was missing? What would you liked to have seen? And are there any other sites or subscription resources that you’ve used that you like better?

This is the first time I used this database, as I typically use MedLine Plus, PubMed, or Google (which, often brings up NIMH and Mayo Clinic articles that are found in those databases faster!). I really liked the advanced search options and searching for publications. I enjoyed the excercises and it is good to know how to find the fact sheets quickly!

I appreciate the advanced search exercise to help me consider how I would narrow down my subject. I can’t wait for the opportunity to share this database with customers.

Lots of information. It is a good website to share with the students.

I think this is a great resource particularly for the videos, reputable sourced info on alternative treatments, and up to date info on prescription drugs. This will be a nice resource to refer folks to when we might not have the latest print material.

There were too many on H1N1. The nature publication is not available. I would use this database in the future.

I really enjoy using this database. I would definately use it whenever I need to look up things.

The interface is super easy to use and the visual search is a great feature! Fantastic language selection too 🙂

This database is well organized and easy to navigate.
The patrons can trust the information they get from this database because it is marked with HONcode.
A site with HONcode guarantees its information is authorative, trustful and respect privacy.
So far this is the only health database that I saw had marked with a HONcode. Therefore, I think this is a database that we can recommend to the patrons with no doubt. For people who are interested in understanding the details about HONcode can refer to this link

I’m glad you mentioned HONcode. It’s an organization that rates health information online, looking for what’s real, what’s authoritative, and what’s trustworthy. It’s important that for critical info in people’s lives (health & law come to mind) that they get trustworthy information. And for the health subject area, this is one way to make sure you’re safe. Thanks Shu-Hua!

It took me a little bit of time to get used to the sie but once I did I was fine. It was pretty simple and it is easy to learn. I know for sure that once I use it again by myself ill be fine for future questions that customers will have. These databases are getting more and more easier! I like that!

I found this exercise pretty easy and straightforward. I found some good info that will hopefully help with my migranes. This is a great resource to show to customers and most of all, for your health!

This database is useful in that it has very up-to-date information that may not be available in our resources at the library. Other than that, I’m fairly certain patrons will favor other health sites such as the Mayo Clinic or WebMD because they are better advertised.

Do you have any advertising suggestions Sarah? You’re right that basic web searches will bring up sites that users will be more exposed to. They have to make the decision to go to our website & click on the link tot he database, which is often not a decision that our patrons make. Marketing our online resources is a huge challenge for all libraries. Creative ideas for what we can do here at SJPL are always welcome! Mana Tominaga is the new eResources Librarian for SJPL, and I know she’s looking at marketing ideas…so bring it on!

It was pretty simple and very useful~ i love it

I learned a lot by browsing around CHC (in addition to completing the discovery exercises). The “Popular Sources” on the home page are great. Quick and easy access to lots of basic info! I definitely will remember to share this with customers with health related questions!

I had about 2/3rds of 100 for my hits on the first question. I was surprised the first journal mentioned wasn’t in the database, but it is more of a science journal instead of a medical journal. Learning the name of the key component in Alli helps answer that question. A very good database.

Week 10’s CHC database was easier to navigate than the previous few databases assigned.

I liked the layout of the CHC site a lot because they had nice tab features which allowed me to use articles or other fact sheets associated with the subject matter I was researching.

For the H1N1 exercise I saw one useful fact sheet published by: Rebecca J. Stahl, MA and Brian S. Alper, MD, MSPH. This fact sheet covered everything from the definition, to the symptoms, side effects, treatment options, etc. I did use the advance search option to locate the number of articles published in November, which did not help much (perhaps because I did not filter the fields well), but on my own in a small amount of time I did find three, but I am sure there are way more.

Overall, I would not rely solely on this website, I would rely on other webistes/organizations that have a well known reputation or that I am personally familiar with using such as Kaiser Permanente, WebMD, the Dr.Oz show or The Doctors Tv show website! =)

In addition, the CHC site is great for personal knowledge but perhaps should not be credited as a site to seek 100% medical advice or use for academic/informational seminar sessions. I would consult a doctor or other health professional first when in doubt.

Amrita Kaur – Berryessa Branch

The database is easy to use. The information is simple, but good for people seeking non technical information. On the other hand, if people are not used to databases, some of the advanced features could be too much for them.

Very useful for medical info. Quick find is nice to browse alphabetically.

useful database

Helpful database for healt questions

Overall, I think this database is good. I like the icons that separate the various types of information located below the search box.

Nancy Buckles – Edenvale Branch
Very user friendly. Since I’m in the middle of a sinus headache this database came at a good time. I found out some good information and I always wondered why the headache usually lasts 3 days. Now I know that this is the usual amount of time for a sinus headache; so I just need to suffer through it.

I thought this database was helpful enough to get a lot of bare facts on certain searches I had. However, I felt some of the information lacking and wasn’t as “complete” as they say it is. I think the articles would be helpful for students looking for more information, but otherwise, I think it’s helpful for basic information.

Much easier to use than I expected. A difinite user friendly site.

I found the first exercise difficult, but could have used the advance search to narrow things down. I like the info sheet information and the quick search guide. I was recently diagnosed with something and was able to look up info on that particular disease. I used this database when a customer asked about info on a drug she was prescribed.

I did discover some small typos in the text though. I wonder if they want people to report those?

Sure! If you see mistakes in any of our online resources, email the database vendor directly (usually there is a Contact Us link somewhere). If you can’t find one in a database, you can email Mana Tominaga, our new eResources Librarian, and she can forward them on to our vendor contact at the company. Thanks for noticing that something was wrong!

I’d say don’t take Alli because it’ll destroy your liver and stick to hitting the gym instead.

Great resource! It’s always helpful to have more websites with health info we can trust.

This database is a good supplement for , , and .

This is a great resource for people to use! This datebase is simple to use and very informative!

Very, very useful. the latest information, easy to navigate and an extensive range of resources.

A really helpful resource for people to use to research their health and improve their lives.

I know a few people who can really take advantage of this website, very useful information.

Very useful, have all the lastest information.

I spent some time doing the Discovery Exercises and and looking around the site in general. The tutorial is clear and concise. I like the tab features on the search results page, and the language options are awesome.

This database is very helpful and cool that it provides lots of useful information to our patrons for free.

It seems like a great resource, but when I clicked on PDF Full Text, I get an error message. Did I do something wrong?

Angel, this sounds like a technical problem. What did the error message say? Most likely there is a problem on that computer with Adobe Reader. Call the Help Desk if it happens again and they can help you figure out what’s going on.

I found many reports on H1N1, Nov 2009. Nature is not available through CHC. The Alli info is under Orlistat. Good to know this service is available, although I go to the Kaiser sight. Always good to have a second opinion.

I had a hard time on finding news report with the subject H1N1 2009 influenza in November 2009. Over-the-counter drugs Alli present side effects incluse rectal bleeding, kidney, and thyroid problems. It should be taken by overweight or obese people.

Always liked this one, along with MedlinePlus, for readable “consumer-friendly” info.

The third exercise was a bit difficult. However, this resource is very useful in the health conscious world we live in today.

This site seems like it would be very helpful and easy to use both for novice database users and the more advanced user.

I wish I would’ve known more about this 19 months ago so I could’ve reduced the number of pregnancy books that I checked out/bought!

Great database. I thought the Health Highlights is very helpful with the updates. I was reading one other person’s comment about the Mayo Clinic and agree it is also one of my favorite resources for medical information.

very useful information!

This weeks database was very useful. Great resource for people in the medical field!

Very useful database and easy to use. I really, really like this week assignment!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I didn’t look through the tutorial, so it took a bit of time to find the publications. But overall, this database is quite easy to use.

I found the article for “alli” with “Orlistat, Oral” .
“New Beginning” publication is not available.
H1N1 (2009) influenza: I narrowed down the search with “subject/publication/November 2009-November 2009”, and found 10 articles.
Good and very resourful database for every one.

Consumer Health Complete is such a useful and interesting resourse. I found reports for H1N1 for 2009, but not for November 2009, Alli’s side effect. Very helpful to research for diseases and medications.

I like the interface, it is simple and provides links to common information – news, drugs, etc. It is comprehensive and provides useful content (videos, images, etc.).

Berryessa Branch

Very helpful data base. I don’t think I will be using Alli, I like my fried chicken.

very useful resource.

This database was easy to use, and was useful. I liked it!

Intersting database.
1. I was only able to find one article with the subject for H1N1 influenza 2009.

2. The aritcle that is not available is “nature”

3. I was able to find facts for Alli after I searched for “alli weight loss”. Side effects included gas, oily spotting, & diarrhea.
People with diabetes, thyroid disease, or on a blood thinning medication should not take this drug.

A good complement to

I like how the homepage is organized. It is user friendly. It is not loaded down with too much information that could be a turn off or intimidating to some customers. You can quickly “click” and find info.

This was one of the best resources we have learned about so far, in terms of easiness and usefulness, in my opinion.

Even though i reviewed the tutorial for this resource, it still took me a long time to find the answers to the three questions. Especially the last one because Alli goes by the name Xenical or Orlistat. If this wasn’t an assignment, I would have used another resource to find the answers.

The tutorial was a big help. Watched it a couple of times to get to the right place for each question but in the end I came to the right answer for question 2 & 3. Got a different answer for question 1. Need to play around with this database a little more. All in all this is a resource I have used several times since health issues interest me.

This database seems pretty useful. I’m sure I will be directing patrons here in the near future. I like both the language options and that the database includes alternative medicine.

Willow Glen

CHC is easy and helpful.

This resource is fairly useful, I was thinking it would be similar to WebMD but it is definitely different, more article based than interactive.

Easy to use and offers a lot of information.

Great database with not just mainstream information but alternative therapies and treatments – many hospitals actually use content from this database to hand out to patients. I really liked the animations and videos, also. Medical information gets outdated so quickly in print, it’s great to have an up-to-date online option.

Please do send along any typos and feature suggestions – I’d be happy to send it along to the vendor.

Also, please send me any ideas to promote this database! I know librarians are promoting the various langugage options of the database through programs at branches.

It would be good to mention during the training that SJPL has access to Consumer Health Information languages databases. I am afraid that not all of SJPL staff members are aware of these very valuable resources for bilingual customers. The languages versions are simplier and do not have that much information, but they are very useful, if you need to find information on major health issues.

offers a lot of information that is very simple and easy to find.

Great online resource. I love how there are 21 different language translations however, I was disappointed they didn’t have the Vietnamese Translation. Site is easy to navigate. I will be using this site in the future!

has alot of useful information, and easy to navigate.

Has a lot of information and its an easy site, to locate specific topics.

Great database!

It’s week 10 so I’m about to drop a beat on your feet,
this week’s database is about the Consumer Health complete.
If your patient is sick and wants a lot of information,
tell them about this website because it includes diagrams and animations!
Can someone tell me if I have the H1N1 or H1N3,
doesn’t matter much because this database will tell me.
CHC will tell you about old diseases and the one most recently,
Alli is a medicine that taken by mouth to treat obesity.
You can narrow your searches by clicking pamphlets/fact sheets,
who needs a doctor when you got Consumer Health Complete.

“Word to your mother!” – Vanilla Ice

This is something I can understand most deff.

Thank you for a great database and easy for patron to use. Love it!

Great online resource very usefull and pretty easy to use for anyone looking for health and medical related information

love this database!

not intuitive at all!
but alot of info
the questions:
1 – I lost count after 30-something
2 – Nature
3 – Found one. I would discourage my friend from taking this. It sounds scary! Is this really a nonprescription product?!

This is an interesting and helpful tool, however, I too agree with a lot of people that other sites such as WebMD and google is easier to use.

This is a very user-friendly database. I was able to find the answers to the questions in the exercise very quickly.

I give two thumbs up for consumer health complete.

this is a great resource for research papers

joshua castro @ EB

A very useful database. It a has a great user interface. The reason is the homepage gives different types of links such as evidence base reports, fact sheets and pamlets, images and diagrams, etc. Once again, this is a useful source for health information.

very useful and easy to use. I found the search tool very helpful.

A wonderful resource and available in many, many languages.

There is a lot of good information here but I think it is not organized that well for the general user. For example, you should be able to use the general search box to find something on Alli, but it returns no results. That might easily lead the average user to conclude that the information is not available here.

This is a very good resource and it is available in many languages.

It’s reasonably easy to use. Still behind the three major search engines, but I managed to find what you asked of us.

An interesting database.

Usefull database. I have used it to teach my students in the Spanish internet basic class both the students and I love it.

It is very useful datebase. I like it.

What an appropriate question for number 3! That’s just the kind of question I would expect from a patron.

database provides lot of info.

another useful database! 🙂

The database will be helpful if someone asks me about medical problems and such. Now to get the word out about it so people know about it.

Generally very good database – although I wish the default first tab was not “All Results”, since the first-page results are largely from medical journals and too technical for most customers who are just beginning their research. I really think they should cross-reference brand names and more commonly used terms to make it more user-friendly, since oftentimes customers don’t know the medical terms.

Currently, it is in various languages, which is helpful to many customers.

I enjoyed the image/diagram and video/animation portion of the site…I looked up pregnancy and found some very useful info.

The Consumer Health Complete was very helpful and relatively easy to use. Information was presented in a useful and easy to understand format. I will be recommending this useful database to our customers in the future.

A very useful tool for health which everyone wants to have. Also, it’s very simple and easy to find the answers.

I hadn’t known about this database, so it was good to check it out. For some things I still think I prefer Medline. It was a little tricky finding the Alli fact sheet.

Nice d/b with easy to use features (sort, limit, …)

Usually I go straight to MedlinePlus, but I am glad to have a new database to help customers.

Nice database for the practiced….potentially easy for the novice customer.

Very useful website. I had a little trouble finding the Alli fact sheet at first, but soon found a strategy that worked just fine.

This database is really helpful especially for customers that are in the medical field. I liked how at your fingertips you can look up all different sorts of medical information. Overall this was a great database for the SJPL customers.

I love that this database contains information about alternative medicine!

This was an interesting database.

It’s neat.

I like how Consumer Health Complete offers a variety of search techniques ranging from the simple one box basic search to the ability to search by topic, document type and in popular resources.

I’ve been using Medline prior to my knowledge of this database. As I was doing searches with fact sheets I noticed sometimes it would compare it to similar drugs which I liked.

This is a very helpful website. Especially when there is so much misleading medical advice online.

Great resource for the health enthusiastics or just to research. I will definitely refer this to all the people I know.

It is good to know this database.

I looked up various symptoms, diseases, or surgical procedures. This database has been very informative by far compare to or WebMd. The articles as well as the tabs are very organized and thorough. The medical terms are explained very well. I feel that the studies that I am reading on this database are legitimate compare to other medical websites.

This database is very helpful for individuals studying to be nurses, doctors, or any career in the medical field. Also, this is an excellent resource for anyone who has concerns about their own health or health of others.

This is a valuable electronic resource that our customers will use to get the most current information on health and medical information, especially in other languages.

Good research tool.

Nature was not in this database. I found only one ‘fact sheet’, and many articles, but with the side effects listed, discomforts, and “inconveniences,” this was enough to convince me not to take this drug. I need to use this database more before I become a real fan. I saw a presentation on it, so I know there are great resource possibilities that my searches did not show so far.

This database is very helpful with different language translation.

Fairly helpful. I would use it in conjunction with Webmd, etc.

Very useful.

Especially like the alternative medicines section because that has the potential of being one area where a TON of misinformation can happen.

This is a pretty useful resource. Would be good to use before taking any medicine to see its side effects as well as how it works and the sort. I also like how you can see legal stuff going on with some of the drugs.

I found 76 articles from November 2009 on H1N1, Nature is not included in the publications, and Alli appears under the title Orlistat, Oral for obestity treatment. This is another great database that will have its own bookmark on my computer.

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