Pharmacists' online information literacy: An assessment of their use of Internet-based medicines information

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Health Information and Libraries Journal, 2010, 27 (3), pp. 208 - 216
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Pharmacists need effective skills in accessing and using Internet-based medicines information (IBMI) for themselves and their consumers. However, there is limited information regarding how pharmacists use the Internet. Objectives: To develop and use a research instrument to measure pharmacists' Internet knowledge, search skills, evaluation of and opinions about using IBMI. Methods: A structured questionnaire examining general Internet knowledge, ability to search for and select pertinent IBMI, evaluation of IBMI, opinions about using IBMI and current Internet use was developed. Exploratory factor analysis was performed to analyse IBMI evaluation. Results: 208 pharmacists responded (response rate 20.6%). There was a large variation in pharmacists' scores. Mean scores were low for General Internet Knowledge (mean 7.91 ± 3.62; scale 0-16), Search and Selection of IBMI (4.98 ± 2.91; 0-10) and Opinions on IBMI (44.51 ± 9.61; 0-80). Four factors [Professionalism of website (4 items; factor loading 0.62-0.87; Cronbach's α 0.84), Disclosure (5; 0.37-0.79; 0.73), Appropriateness of content (5; 0.32-0.50; 0.65), Standard of information (6; 0.31-0.48; 0.58)] were extracted from the evaluation scale, explaining 36.89% of the total variance. Conclusions: A tool was developed to evaluate pharmacists' skills and opinions in using IBMI. A wide range of skills and opinions highlighted the need for training in online information literacy. © 2010 Health Libraries Group.
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