Literature searching – this article gave us a sense of deja vu!

Measures of Self-Efficacy Among Doctors in Conducting an Online Search for Clinical Decision Making

Salman Bin Naeem, Rubina Bhatti

Health Info Libr J. 2020
Link: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/hir.12289

Recently we came across an article written in Pakistan, about the ability and level of confidence among doctors in conducting an online search. Reading it gave us a sense of deja vu!

The authors conducted a survey in 36 District Headquarter Hospitals (DHQs), 89 Tehsil Headquarter Hospitals (THQs), 293 Rural Health Centers (RHCs) and 2455 Basic Health Units (BHUs) in Punjab, Pakistan.

The doctors perceived themselves able to perform different tasks involved in conducting an online search but the survey outcome showed most of the doctors were ‘not confident’ in their ability to perform the tasks. After analyzing the data the result showed – Out of the 517 doctors, 73 (14.1%) had ‘never accessed health care information online’ for clinical decision making.

Some of the reasons of low confidence in doctors for conducting a structured search were:

  • Lack of awareness of reliable online resources and databases
  • Age and working experience were significant factors
  • Infrequent use of medical databases
  • Information overload
  • No formal training to the doctors for performing a structured literature search
  • Non-availability of health sciences librarians

Author’s Conclusion:

  • There is a constant need to promote educational activities to motivate interest, increase awareness and develop knowledge and skills
  • To conduct training programs for doctors by training them to perform a structured literature search.

QMed has been observing the same scenario for years in India. We have been conductingworkshops across India in “Literature Searching” for the past 13 years, And as we reach out to more students and professionals in all health sciences, the scenario still remains unchanged. People think they know how to search and get information but most of the time they do not get relevant information and make do with whatever they retrieved. They don’t know what they don’t know – that there is a structured methodology in searching!

QMed has now launched online courses to reach out to every student and professional in all health sciences streams.  We have to make a difference! If you have read this blog post – just go ahead and register. And recommend the courses to your colleagues and friends.

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