New health information resource from Tufts for Asian-language speakers

04/06/05

Health sciences library creates one-of-a-kind resource for patients and caregivers

Boston, MA--April 6, 2005--Tufts University's Health Sciences Library announces today an unprecedented health resource for Asian Americans whose first language is not English. Dubbed SPIRAL for "Selected Patient Information Resources in Asian Languages," it is a Web site (http://spiral.tufts.edu), with detailed health information in seven Asian languages, specifically Chinese, Hmong, Khmer, Korean, Laotian, Thai and Vietnamese. It is a unique multi-language health information site because it is for both physicians and patients.

Segmented by language and by subject, a user either a patient, doctor or other caregiver -- can search for documents in an Asian language on topics such as asthma, diabetes, nutrition, substance abuse, SARS and HIV/AIDS. A native speaker of an Asian language would go to the main web site, select his/her language, and then search for the information that was needed. Material is also provided in English so that an English-speaking physician or caregiver can see what patients are reading.

"By providing these resources, selected from respected health sites, the Health Sciences Library at Tufts is contributing to helping these populations become better informed and, hopefully, healthier," said Director of the Health Sciences Library, Eric Albright. "To complete the circle, the information is also provided in English it's one stop for essential health information for Asian Americans whose native language is not English. It's also following a Tufts tradition providing electronic resources in our international community."

"SPIRAL provides a central source of health information for Asian Americans and their physicians/caregivers. We've selected the Web sites with the best medical information and we'll continue to provide access to more Web sites and more documents," said Deputy Director Cora Ho.

Source: Eurekalert & others

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