Information Needs and Information-Seeking Behaviour of Allopathic Medical Practitioners in Tirppur District in Tamilnadu, India

Article excerpt


Medical professionals must continuously develop their professional and personal abilities for better treatment and diagnosis procedures (Pillay 2004). The phenomenal development of modern scientific medicine in the turn of 20th century has made dramatic changes in the quality and quantity of knowledge and applications in the field of health care (Elizabeth 2008). The growth of medicine branches has been phenomenal; there has been an explosion of new knowledge in these areas in the last decade. The numerous publications books, journals, and news-letters are the indicators of the parameters (Singhi, Sunit, Surpure, S Jagannath 2010). Physicians seek information regarding various issues in medical care especially in drug information (Fly, Burch, Vinson 1992)

Review of Literature

Premsmit (1990) study results among the academic medical scientists in Thailand revealed the three types of information needs: identifying up-to-date information, obtaining relevant studies and data, and developing research topics. Rajan, et al., (2009) carried out a study on information seeking behaviour of clinicians in a semi-urban town in South India. Result of the study indicated that many clinicians used textbooks, drug indexes like CIMS/MIMS and less use of journals and internet for information seeking.

Gorman (2001) surveyed the information needs in primary centers. The results reveal that, physicians in USA used Physicians Desk Reference is the most commonly used resources for immediate references.

Laila (2010) has found out that the social science faculties heavily depend on books and journals for teaching. Their use of informal sources is comparatively less than formal sources. Journals and books are considered as the most important for sources to meet their needs. Among the informal sources conferences, subject experts, and colleagues are given higher importance than librarians and government officials.

Bennet et al., (2005) survey results show that in developed countries like USA, physicians in their day-to-day practice increasingly use computers. 80% of physicians have hand held computers used for accessing the electronic journals, medical textbooks, downloadable journals/books, and patient tracking programs.

Zawai (2001), study findings reveals that are, biomedical scientists who were solely involved in research work considered journal articles as the most preferred information sources.


Aim of this study is to find out the information needs and seeking behaviour of allopathic medical practitioners (general /specialists) in Tirppur district, Tamilnadu, India.


The following main objectives are framed to conduct this study. The objectives are

1. To find out the medical practitioners need for clinical information

2. To find out the medical practitioners use of formal, informal, digital and other online sources.

Research Design

a. Universe of the sample: Allopathic medical practitioners in Tirppur district, in Tamilnadu, India are the universe of the sample. There are 730 medical practitioners working in this district. Study sample details are collected from the government hospitals and IMA members' lists.

b. Sample selection procedure: Stratified random sampling method is adopted for selection of the samples. Gender, educational qualification, and work place are the main classification of the samples.

c. Study samples: Among the total sample 10% of the samples are selected for this study. Based on the stratified random sampling method the samples are classified by gender, educational qualification, experience, and work place. Selected sample details are shown in the table numbers, 5.1, 5.2, and 5.3.

d. Study variable: The following independent and dependent variables are identified for analysis the data

i. Independent variables

a. …