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Free Content Educational workshop improved information-seeking skills, knowledge, attitudes and the search outcome of hospital clinicians: a randomised controlled trial

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A double-blind randomised controlled trial was conducted on a group of Hong Kong hospital clinicians. The objective was to test if a three-hour educational workshop (with supervised hands-on practice) is more effective (than no training) to improve clinical question formulation, information-seeking skills, knowledge, attitudes, and search outcomes. The design was a post-test-only control group; recruitment by stratified randomization (by profession), blocked at 800. End-user training was more effective than no training in improving clinical question formulation, in raising awareness, knowledge, confidence and use of databases, but had made no impact on preference for secondary databases. It changed the attitude of clinicians to become more positive towards the use of electronic information services (EIS). Participants had higher search performance and outcomes (satisfaction with information obtained (NNT = 3), EIS satisfaction (NNT = 3) and success in problem solving (NNT = 4)). The workshop improved knowledge and skills in evidence-based searching, but this effect gradually eroded with time. Search logs confirmed that follow-up is required if effects are to be sustained. Longer effects on search behaviours appear to be positive. A randomised controlled trial is valuable in identifying cause-and-effect relations and to quantify the magnitude of the effects for management decision-making.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2003

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