Background: Dietitians can obtain nutrition-related information from a variety of sources. Scant studies have investigated their nutritional information-searching behavior.
Objectives: The current study was to investigate how registered dietitians look for nutritional information and perceive evidence-based nutrition (EBN).
Methods: A structured questionnaire survey was conducted for a 4-month period from January through April 2011. The questions included items for measuring the behavior of searching for information. In addition, perceptions toward EBN—including the awareness of, belief in, attitude toward, knowledge of, skill in, and barriers to EBN—were further explored.
Results: The most common informational sources were Web portals, followed by continuing education, colleague consultation, textbooks, online databases, electronic journals, printed journals, and electronic textbooks. Among the 11 commonly used online databases, dietitians preferred to access MEDLINE and 3 databases in Chinese. Sixty-two dietitians (92.5%) were aware of EBN. Although they had a favorable impression of EBN, their knowledge of and skills in EBN were relatively lacking. The most common barrier to the implementation of EBN was a lack of library resources in Chinese (58.1%), followed by deficient skill in critical appraisal (54.8%), insufficient convenient kits (53.2%), and time constraints (50.0%).
Conclusions: Most registered dietitians search for information through non-EBN resources. Language is an important element relevant to the implementation of EBN. These findings may help the refining of strategies to promote the accessing of evidence-based information.