Literature search as a part of evidence based practice: Covering competencies, behavior and needs among nurses from Odense University Hospital

By Berit Elisabeth Alving, Anne Lee, Mette Bøg Horup & Lars Thrysøe

In 2017-2018, a questionnaire survey was conducted among nurses employed at Odense University Hospital (OUH) with the aim of identifying information search competencies, behavior and needs, to qualify future services from the University Library of Southern Denmark.

One third of more than 4,000 nurses employed at OUH were included in the study, which is considered representative of nurses employed at OUH.
The study showed that most of the nurses used electronic resources, especially Google, the hospital’s intranet and Infonet when searching for health information, and mainly in connection with their daily practice. In addition, the study showed that they used colleagues, printed information and asked at the library.

Nurses trained in 2004 or later used significantly more frequently the two large health science databases PubMed and Cinahl, than nurses trained before 2004. Nurses trained in 2004 or later also assessed their competences for information search as more qualified than nurses trained before 2004.

While half of the nurses said they were used to search for electronic resources and more said they were ‘good’ or ‘pretty good’ to seek for health care information. Half of the nurses indicated that they lacked time to search and just as many that despite previous training they felt insecure.

Most of the respondents had received guidance or courses in information retrieval, but for the main part it was more than a year ago. Desires for future services in relation to information retrieval included both courses, information material and individual guidance. Based on the results of the study, consideration should be given to provide more differentiated teaching and guidance. In relation to the nurses’ experience of lack of time and incentive to search in health science literature, there is a need for further initiatives at OUH to support an evidence-based nursing practice, and likewise a need to facilitate the search for guidelines and other documents.

Open Access fulltext (PDF) [In Danish]