26 June 2009

New Zealand Study Finds That Healthcare Workers Don’t Use Internet-Based Research Tools

A study by four researchers in Christchurch, New Zealand found that a frightening 37 percent rarely or never consulted Google and 58 percent rarely or never consulted Ovid Medline or PubMed. Medical and dental staff consulted search engines (83 percent) or library resources (63 percent) at least weekly, higher than nursing or allied health staff. All professional groups consulted coworkers or experts more frequently than they did online or library resources. They used Google more often than any other electronic resource (big surprise) and it received the highest value rating (yikes). Almost all searched using keywords; few used MeSH terms. Over 82 percent wanted more training on searching Internet-based resources, so there is still hope for educating them on the value of better sources.

Hider, Philip N., Gemma Griffin, Marg Walker [all of University of Otago-Christchurch], and Edward Coughlan [Christchurch Hospital], The information-seeking behavior of clinical staff in a large health care organization, Journal of the Medical Library Association 97(1):47-50, January 2009, http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=2605037

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