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Information-seeking Behaviors of Podiatric Physicians

Donna M. Perzeski Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine, Independence, OH.

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Background:

The goal of this study was to evaluate the information-seeking behaviors of podiatric physicians as they search for answers to clinical questions that arise during patient care visits.

Methods:

Invitations to participate in an Internet survey were e-mailed to alumni of the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine (now Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine [KSUCPM]). Twenty-nine questions surveyed the types and frequency of information that podiatric physicians need during patient care visits, which information resources are used by podiatric physicians, and which barriers podiatric physicians encounter when seeking information in general.

Results:

With 143 completed surveys, results of this study indicate a preference for searching the Internet over using colleagues and print literature. The most common need is for drug information, and common barriers include lack of time and cost of accessing information. Results are similar to those for physicians and other health-care providers seeking information.

Conclusions:

Podiatrists recognize the need to become proficient at locating high-quality information, evaluating resources, and improving their understanding and use of resources on evidence-based medicine. Furthermore, with an increased awareness of their own behaviors, practicing podiatric physicians should pursue the best methods to find, judge, and use medical information for patient care. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 102(6): 451–462, 2012)

Corresponding author: Donna M. Perzeski, MLIS, Library Director, Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine, 6000 Rockside Woods Blvd, Independence, OH 44131. (E-mail: dperzesk@kent.edu)