Information searching in health care: a pilot study.
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Although many academic institutions have attempted to incorporate formal instruction in library skills into their curricula, the question as to the best method of conveying the necessary information has been a continual challenge to health care educators. A library skills workshop, which included the distribution of a workbook, was offered to physical therapy and occupational therapy students in a Bachelor of Health Science program with the aim of assisting students to develop skills in library searches and to perform critical appraisals of the literature. Thirty-three students agreed to participate in a study designed to determine its effectiveness: 24 who had volunteered to attend the workshop formed the experimental group, and 9 who did not attend acted as controls. A Library Skills Questionnaire that attempted to measure cognitive and psychomotor skills in retrieving and appraising health care literature was given to all participants prior to, and at the completion of, the two-session workshop. Nine students in the experimental group did not attend the second session and were then termed "drop-outs" for the purpose of the study. The results show that the drop-outs had statistically significant higher knowledge scores (p = less than 0.05) in their post-test scores in comparison with both the students who attended the two sessions and the students in the control group. One explanation for this finding is that the drop-outs may be better self-directed learners who used the workbook to teach themselves.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
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