Information-searching behaviors of main and allied health professionals: a nationwide survey in Taiwan.

Research paper by Yi-Hao YH Weng, Ken N KN Kuo, Chun-Yuh CY Yang, Heng-Lien HL Lo, Ya-Hui YH Shih, Ya-Wen YW Chiu

Indexed on: 08 Jun '12Published on: 08 Jun '12Published in: Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice


There are a variety of resources to obtain health information, but few studies have examined if main and allied health professionals prefer different methods. The current study was to investigate their information-searching behaviours.A constructed questionnaire survey was conducted from January through April 2011 in nationwide regional hospitals of Taiwan. Questionnaires were mailed to main professionals (physicians and nurses) and allied professionals (pharmacists, physical therapists, technicians and others), with 6160 valid returns collected.Among all professional groups, the most commonly used resource for seeking health information was a Web portal, followed by colleague consultations and continuing education. Physicians more often accessed Internet-based professional resources (online databases, electronic journals and electronic books) than the other groups (P < 0.05). In contrast, physical therapists more often accessed printed resources (printed journals and textbooks) than the other specialists (P < 0.05). And nurses, physical therapists and technicians more often asked colleagues and used continuing education than the other groups (P < 0.01). The most commonly used online database was Micromedex for pharmacists and MEDLINE for physicians, technicians and physical therapists. Nurses more often accessed Chinese-language databases rather than English-language databases (P < 0.001).This national survey depicts the information-searching pattern of various health professionals. There were significant differences between and within main and allied health professionals in their information searching. The data provide clinical implications for strategies to promote the accessing of evidence-based information.