The application and value of information sources in clinical practice: an examination of the perspective of naturopaths
Article first published online: 10 MAR 2011
© 2011 The authors. Health Information and Libraries Journal © 2011 Health Libraries Group
Health Information & Libraries Journal
Volume 28, Issue 2, pages 110–118, June 2011
How to Cite
Steel, A. and Adams, J. (2011), The application and value of information sources in clinical practice: an examination of the perspective of naturopaths. Health Information & Libraries Journal, 28: 110–118. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-1842.2011.00929.x
- Issue published online: 12 MAY 2011
- Article first published online: 10 MAR 2011
- Received 29 March 2010; Accepted 17 December 2010
- evidence-based medicine;
- health professionals;
- health resources;
- health services research;
- information services;
- qualitative research
Background: The approach of evidence-based medicine (EBM), providing a paradigm to validate information sources and a process for critiquing their value, is an important platform for guiding practice. Researchers have explored the application and value of information sources in clinical practice with regard to a range of health professions; however, naturopathic practice has been overlooked.
Objectives: An exploratory study of naturopaths’ perspectives of the application and value of information sources has been undertaken.
Methods: Semi-structured interviews with 12 naturopaths in current clinical practice, concerning the information sources used in clinical practice and their perceptions of these sources.
Results: Thematic analysis identified differences in the application of the variety of information sources used, depending upon the perceived validity. Internet databases were viewed as highly valid. Textbooks, formal education and interpersonal interactions were judged based upon a variety of factors, whilst validation of general internet sites and manufacturers information was required prior to use.
Conclusions: The findings of this study will provide preliminary aid to those responsible for supporting naturopaths’ information use and access. In particular, it may assist publishers, medical librarians and professional associations in developing strategies to expand the clinically useful information sources available to naturopaths.