Information needs and information seeking behaviour of doctors in Kuwait government hospitals: an Exploratory study
thesisposted on 15.05.2012, 15:40 by Elham Al-Dousari
In recent years, there has been an increasing demand to study the information needs and information-seeking behaviour of doctors as an essential element in developing successful clinical information systems and improving the quality of healthcare services. This doctoral thesis focuses on exploring the information needs and information seeking behaviour of doctors in Kuwait government hospitals (KGH). The aims are to investigate the internal and external information sources used by doctors in Kuwait government hospitals and to analyse whether the existing clinical information sources meet their needs. A strategy of sequential, mixed-method procedures was followed to gather the research data using focus groups, a paper-based questionnaire and semi-structured telephone interviews. The participants of the research included all categories of doctors (consultants, senior specialists, specialists, senior registrar, registrar, assistant registrar and trainees), working in four government hospitals: Mubarak AI Kabeer, AI Sabaha, AI Farwania and AI Amiri in Kuwait. The findings of the study show that the most frequently mentioned need for information was to keep up-to-date to maintain good practice. It was found that interpersonal communication and a doctor's personal collection, consisting primarily of electronic resources, were the sources most frequently reported as used by the doctors. However, the degree of use of clinical information sources showed that doctors' information seeking varied depending on the clinical scenario. Doctors' knowledge and patient data were the doctors' most frequently used sources of information in the three clinical scenarios: outpatients, wards and the emergency department. There was a low use of knowledge-support resources such as the Internet and library resources in the outpatient and emergency rooms. However, use of the knowledge-support resources was highest in the wards. The results showed some contextual factors either supported or hindered doctors in seeking the information they need. The factors were categorised in the following contexts: a) Organisation context, b) Socio-cultural context; c) Information sources context and d) Scenarios context. Doctors made a number of suggestions for effective information communication and improving the information provision system in KGH. Two conceptual models result from the study findings: a clinical decision-making model scenario· and the overall conceptual model of information seeking by doctors in Kuwait government hospitals. The thesis concludes with recommendations and practical implications to enhance the information provision in KGH. Suggestions for further research are also given.
- Information Science