Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Internet-Based Information Usage Pattern of Paediatricians: A Survey of Southern Punjab, Pakistan

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Internet-Based Information Usage Pattern of Paediatricians: A Survey of Southern Punjab, Pakistan

Article excerpt


Quality resources are available on web and these resources are increasing rapidly. Many paediatricians believe that utilizing these resources and using information technology can help in quality patient care (Prendiville, 2009). This situation has forced the paediatricians to seek online clinical information and provide the better patients care and keep abreast with the current development in the field.

Since 1996 when evidence based medicine was defined, paediatricians increasingly turn to web based resources for clinical evidence and they want to use evidence base medicine. Pediatricians' familiarity with online, web based resources and computer networks are necessary to assess online quality resources i.e bibliographic data bases and paediatric journals (Riordan, 2004). Medical libraries are considered as a good place to access the network resources (Spooner, 1995). Wireless network has improved the information access for paediatricians, a study reported that all paediatricians must shift their information seeking behavior towards computer resources (D'Alessandro, 2004). Whether or not information needs are pursued, depends on the individual's ability to identify their need and then to express it in terms that are searchable by them or a third party.

Objectives of the Study

The purpose of this study was to investigate the internet-based information usage pattern of paediatricians working in hospitals in South Punjab, Pakistan.

Research Methodology

The study in hand was conducted in the four public teaching hospitals of Southern Punjab as these hospitals met the given criteria. The criteria for inclusion were that paediatricians should be working as a regular employee of the public sector teaching hospitals in southern Punjab; house officers were not included in the study. These hospitals include; The Children's Hospital and the Institute of Child Health Multan (CH&ICH), Nishtar Medical College and Hospital (NMCH), Multan, Bahawalpur Victoria Hospital (BVH) and Sheik Zayed Medical College and Hospital (SZMCH) Rahim Yar Khan; each hospital is having professional librarian and catering for a wide range of services. Population of the study was paediatricians (both genders); each hospital having equal numbers (n=10) of respondents.

Survey research method was applied in this study. Structured questionnaire was distributed by convenience sampling to paediatricians of participated public teaching hospitals. The population of this study included 40 Medical Officer, Women Medical Officer, Post Graduate Registrar, Senior Registrar and consultant paediatricians who responded to the questionnaire. The questionnaire was discussed with librarians of all participated hospitals and two paediatricians and recommended suggestions were incorporated. In demographic information of the questionnaire; only position, gender and hospital relating questions were asked but subjects were asked to remain anonymous. In first part of the questionnaire, respondents were asked questions that how they keep abreast with current development in the field, purposes for using internetbased resources usage of databases and search engines, their preferred format of information and convenient places for internet- based searching.

Literature Review

A study by Judd & Kennedy (2010) showed that undergraduate biomedical students mostly consult internet users for information seeking. They mostly use different information tools for seeking information i.e. Google and Wikipedia to support their learning activities. Hughesa,Joshib&Warehama (2009) concluded form their study that the use of Web 2.0 technologies by medical students was very helpful to share their information and cross check information. Shanahan (2008) in a study indicated that undergraduate medical students use very short range of information resources to meet their learning and information needs. They use primary search methods as like search engines, to meet their information needs and 70% medical student's often use database to search their required information. …

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