Academic journal article Partnership : the Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research

Saskatchewan Residents' Use of the Cochrane Library

Academic journal article Partnership : the Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research

Saskatchewan Residents' Use of the Cochrane Library

Article excerpt

Abstract

The Cochrane Library is a source of reliable information on the effects of healthcare interventions for health care practitioners and consumers. In July 2004, Saskatchewan became the first province in Canada to provide all residents with access to The Cochrane Library. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the use of The Cochrane Library. Training sessions were offered to promote the use of The Cochrane Library. Attendees were informed of the evaluation study and invited to participate. Those who consented to participate were telephoned and audio-taped interviews were conducted at three (n=94), six (n=71), nine (n=79), and 12 months (n=72) following the sessions. Usage of The Cochrane Library was also tracked using data available from Wiley-Blackwell. Most participants were librarians (n=31.5%), between 40 to 65 years of age (71.6%) and female (92.4%). Data from Wiley-Blackwell revealed that from October 2004 to September 2007, the component of The Cochrane Library most frequently accessed was The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (abstracts=26,016; full texts =15,934). Telephone interviews with participants revealed that the majority (65.2%) used The Cochrane Library at the three month interview, however this proportion fell to 27.4% at the twelve month interview even though most (83.6%-88.2%) reported that The Cochrane Library was somewhat to very helpful.

Most respondents claimed to have learned something from The Cochrane Library; others reported that the knowledge gained helped in their decision-making or confirmed their beliefs. Respondents accessed The Cochrane Library in response to patron requests for information on a variety of health care topics. Information was used to support changes in health care practice and policy and for the preparation of educational papers and presentations. The reported reasons for not using The Cochrane Library were lack of time, limited access to an internet ready computer in the work setting, reliance on dial-up internet in some rural areas, forgetting how to find and navigate the website, and being disappointed with information available. The plain language summaries were well received, however, some reported that the sophisticated language and length of the reviews were more appropriate for researchers and healthcare providers than the general public. This study provides evidence that given the opportunity and appropriate training, people other than medical professionals will also make use of The Cochrane Library.

Keywords: The Cochrane Library, Cochrane Collaboration, use of research evidence, mixed methods approach.

Saskatchewan Residents' Use of The Cochrane Library

The Cochrane Library is a source of reliable information on the effects of healthcare interventions for health care practitioners and health consumers. Saskatchewan has been a leader in providing access to The Cochrane Library for all Saskatchewan citizens since 2004. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the use of The Cochrane Library by librarians, health care providers and consumers residing in Saskatchewan.

The Cochrane Library

The Cochrane Collaboration is an international organization that aims to help practitioners and consumers make well informed decisions about health care by preparing, maintaining and promoting the accessibility of systematic reviews of the effects of health care interventions (Cochrane Collaboration 2007). These reviews are made available through The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews contained in The Cochrane Library, published electronically by Wiley- Blackwell. As of November 2007, there were 3,298 completed reviews and 1,755 protocols in The Cochrane Library. These reviews are considered the gold standard of systematic reviews as they are based on rigorous, transparent methodology, and are updated regularly. Abstracts and plain language summaries are accessible electronically worldwide (Canadian Cochrane Centre 2007). …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.