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Preliminary results suggest that dentists’ preferred resources differed with each work role associated task. The “patient manager/treatment provider” favored textbooks as the primary source for information while the “student” and the “educator” looked to dental associations and professional organizations. The “practice manager” sought out vendors and the “researcher” chose professional journals and colleagues equally. However, the Internet played a larger role as a subsequent resource. It would be employed as a starting point for developing a rudimentary information framework as well as the means to cross reference information obtained from traditional sources such as textbooks and colleagues. The Internet is also viewed as a means to attain up-to-date information in a timely and convenient manner, but is recognized as having relevancy and credibility problems. Furthermore, Internet searches resulted in an overload of irrelevant information typically due to users’ inferior searching abilities.
Dentists desire reliable and trustworthy information in the most expedient manner and they look to the Internet to provide this. The implications are that dentists want to use the Internet as an information resource, yet they need to develop the skills to use it effectively. Improving searching abilities is a necessity for dentists, yet developing the skill to critically analyze obtained data may prove to be more important for these healthcare professionals.
Haug, J.D. (1997). Physicians’ preferences for information sources: A meta-analytic study. Bulletin of the Medical Library Association, 85(3), 223-232.
Leckie, G. J., Pettigrew, K. E., & Sylvain, C. (1996). Modelling the information seeking of professionals: A general model derived from research on engineers, health care professionals, and lawyers. Library Quarterly, 66.2, 161-193.
Verhoeven, A.A., Boerma, E.J. & Meyboom-deJong, B. (1995). Use of information sources by family physicians: A literature survey. Bulletin of the Medical Library Association, 83(1), 85-90.
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