The application and value of information sources in clinical practice: An examination of the perspective of naturopaths

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Health Information and Libraries Journal, 2011, 28 (2), pp. 110 - 118
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Background: The approach of evidence-based medicine (EBM), providing a paradigm to validate information sources and a process for critiquing their value, is an important platform for guiding practice. Researchers have explored the application and value of information sources in clinical practice with regard to a range of health professions; however, naturopathic practice has been overlooked. Objectives: An exploratory study of naturopaths' perspectives of the application and value of information sources has been undertaken. Methods: Semi-structured interviews with 12 naturopaths in current clinical practice, concerning the information sources used in clinical practice and their perceptions of these sources. Results: Thematic analysis identified differences in the application of the variety of information sources used, depending upon the perceived validity. Internet databases were viewed as highly valid. Textbooks, formal education and interpersonal interactions were judged based upon a variety of factors, whilst validation of general internet sites and manufacturers information was required prior to use. Conclusions: The findings of this study will provide preliminary aid to those responsible for supporting naturopaths' information use and access. In particular, it may assist publishers, medical librarians and professional associations in developing strategies to expand the clinically useful information sources available to naturopaths. © 2011 The authors. Health Information and Libraries Journal © 2011 Health Libraries Group.
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