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Monday 12 October 2015

SHINE Journal Club

Nurses’ and midwives’ information behaviour: a review of literature from 1998 to 2014

An article from New Library World. Would be interesting to hear views on the information seeking behaviour experiences and how these fit with the article conclusions. 

I will post comments from the KSG discussion next month, and please post your comments in the interim!

Ebenezer , C., 2015. Nurses’ and midwives’ information behaviour: a review of literature from 1998 to 2014. New Library World 2015 116:3/4, 155-172. Available from:


– This paper aims to provide an overview of recent literature on nurses’ and midwives’ information behaviour, with a particular focus on sources used and barriers encountered.


– Comprehensive searching was undertaken and an analysis of the appropriate literature carried out.


– Practitioners within the nursing profession have a marked preference for interactive and human sources of information. They habitually associate information seeking with professional development rather than with clinical practice. Lack of time is the most frequently reported problem; also, they frequently lack confidence in searching and appraising the professional literature and in applying research in practice. Cultural factors may inhibit information seeking in the workplace, and access to appropriate information technology may be limited.

Practical implications

– As a group, nurses and midwives present significant challenges to health library and information professionals seeking to design services to meet their needs. A perceived lack of access to information resources may be associated with pervasive information literacy skill deficits, with the inability to undertake critical appraisal of material that is retrieved, or with the lack of a workplace culture that is supportive of information seeking. To reach nurses and midwives, more than diligent marketing is required; library and information professionals need to work closely with the holders of nursing and midwifery research, practice development and educational roles within their institutions on “embedded”, specific information initiatives.


– An overview of recent work is presented on the information behaviour of nurses and midwives within developed economies, focusing particularly on the UK. It may be of interest and value to health librarians and to nursing and midwifery educators in facilitating evidence-based practice.

1 Comment

  • Siobhan O'Brien replied on 18 Nov 2015 at 09:37

    Overview of comments from the NES Journal Club:

    • The article highlights a “sad” situation, the barriers and challenges that are faced with regard to the information seeking behaviour of nursing staff.
    • Article confirms a lot of what we believed anecdotally.
    • The table (p159) describing decision types and clinical choices was interesting, particularly when delivering training to this group.
    • Interesting that the role of practice educators is highlighted
    • Expected commentary about how the roles of nurses in particular were changing, and the impact on information seeking behaviour but not present.
    • The search strategy was a little surprising, particularly the inclusion of the online concept.
    • Seems that the issue is the culture and perceived lack of access rather than actual lack of access. The need for a culture change was the key message that we took from the article, and that this is the key barrier to overcome.

    The article lists the challenges and barriers for this group, and the question was asked during the session what examples of overcoming theses barriers might be available from SHINE members. Please share any successes or otherwise below!

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