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Health Information Literacy Skills of Medical College Students in Punjab and Chandigarh

International Journal of Information Studies and Libraries

Volume 3 Issue 2

Published: 2018
Author(s) Name: Navkiran Kaur | Author(s) Affiliation: Assistant Professor, Department of Library and Information Science, Punjabi University, Punjab.
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Abstract

Health information literacy (HIL) is essential for health information professionals but studies reveal that many medical students do not have adequate competencies that are essential for searching, evaluating and accessing pertinent information. This study is an attempt to explore the HIL skills of medical students in Punjab and Chandigarh. A structured questionnaire was designed and data were collected from 126 students of 10 medical colleges and institutes in Punjab and Chandigarh. The results of this study reveal that updating knowledge, personal health needs, evidence-based practice and solving patients’ health-related issues are major reasons for seeking health information. Majority of the students use the Internet, medical books and handbooks. MedlinePlus, WebMD, eMedicine, Mayo Clinic and PubMed Central are used by students, but majority of them confessed that they don’t know enough and want to know more about these databases. Keyword/simple search is mostly preferred by students and the accessibility and availability of the sources are the main sources selection criteria. Key barriers to access health information are lack of time, awareness, infrastructure, poor Internet connectivity, information overload, and lack of library support and trained staff. The study concludes with a few recommendations for improving HIL skills of medical students.

Keywords: Health Information Literacy Skills, Health Information Resources and Services, Medical Students HIL Awareness, Information Search Strategies, Information Evaluation Criteria, Patient Health Infor.

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