This is a research project on information seeking behaviour of medical practitioners in government owned health centres in Esan West Local Government Area in Edo State. The research was aimed at finding out the information needs and seeking behaviour of Medical Practitioners in Government Owned Health Centres in Esan West Local Government Area. The research adopted survey method of research due to the nature of the topic, the instrument used for data collection was the questionnaire, literature review, were on theories of information seeking behaviour, information needs and information seeking behaviour of medical practitioners, information sources of medical practitioners and problems medical practitioners face in accessing information. A sample size of 90 from a population size of 122 Local Government health workers working in 23 local government area in Edo State was used. The data collected were analysed and interpreted by means of tables and percentages, among the findings are that medical practitioners have needs for information, medical practitioners rely mostly on personal textbooks, periodicals, television broadcast and discussion with colleagues as method of getting information, among the recommendations are that establishment of Public Library Services in rural areas of Esan West Local Government Area in Edo State, Training of Medical and health practitioners on the method of information seeking should be put in place.
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Information seeking behaviour
We are living in a generation where information has become the bedrock of the economy of all nations. This is as this century has witnessed the evolution of information sources and modes of storage. This also has in no small measure affected the activities of human and their livelihood on earth, so that the ways through which they sourced for information has change with time. An information literate human makes a healthy society. Thus, for every society to be healthy, it’s citizen have to inculcate good disposition towards seeking the use of information.
Ojedokun (2007) stated that information is a statement of facts, figures, ideas and creative works of the human intellect, which are logically or by way of reasoning interrelated, and have been communicated, recorded, published and distributed formally or informally in any format. However, Reitz (2004) defined information as “Data presented in readily comprehensible form which meaning has been attributed within the context of its use”. So a specific data can be considered as information if it conveys a meaning to the person who receives it, Reliable information is necessary for building the awareness expertise and practical strategy needed to improve the world at its hearts, the health, the physical, technical, mental, social and scientific development of humanity. Hence, information is a vital component in developing critical though and independent decision making. Adepoju (2002) stated that for over sixty years the development of reliable information has been one of the functions of the world scientific and technical organizations such as the library. Thus development of reliable information Adepoju stated, has been made possible by scientist through channels such as the extensive programme of publications in journals, periodicals, reviews, fax, World Wide Web (www) internet, CD-ROMs e.t.c, now numbers over 100 new publications each years. Information is dependent on our practices; it serves as a reliable tool for adequate successful implementation of every given objective especially as it has to do with health practitioners. Without information no individual can anticipate circumstances as information feeds anticipation.
Statement of the problem
Recent happenings such as increase in the spate of natural disasters, war, scientific discoveries e.t.c.., the increase in the spate of health hazards, epidemics and new incurable disease such as HIV, Cancer, tuberculosis, hepatitis e.t.c.. Have given rise to the increase in the volume of published information resources in circulation. This act has contributed to the glaring trend of ineffective information provision and retrieval by most professionals especially the medical and health practitioners.
Objectives of the study
The objectives of this study are to
- Determine the kind information used by medical practitioners in government owned health centres in Esan West Local Government Area.
- Examine information seeking behaviour of medical practitioners.
- Explore the use of I.C.T among the medical practitioners
- Reveal the problems faced by medical practitioners in seeking information in government owned health centres in Esan West Local Government Area in Edo State.
- Profer solutions to the identified problems faced by medical and health professionals.
- Research questions
The following research questions will be examined by the study.
- What are the information researches available to medical and health practitioners in Esan West Local Government Area?
- What are the information seeking behaviour traits exhibit by medical and health practitioners?
- Do medical and health practitioners use I.C.T in seeking for information?
- Are there problems militating against the effective information seeking by medical and health practitioners?
Justification of the study
It is hoped that the finding of this study will be useful in helping librarians to plan information researches and services for medical practitioners in government owned health centres in Esan West Local Government Area in Edo State. The result will also review the information seeking behaviour of medical practitioners in government owned health centres in Esan West and also expose the problems they face in getting access to information.
Scope of the study
This study will be limited to the information seeking behaviour of medical practitioners in government owned health centres in Esan West Local Government Area of Edo State.