Background: There are a variety of evidence-based online databases, but few studies have examined whether main and allied health professionals prefer different resources.
Objectives: The current study was to investigate the preference in accessing the online databases between main and allied health professionals of regional hospitals in Taiwan.
Methods: A constructed questionnaire survey was conducted from January through April 2011 in nationwide regional hospitals of Taiwan. Questionnaires were mailed to main professionals (physicians and nurses) and allied professionals (pharmacists, physical therapists, technicians, and others), with 6160 valid returns collected.
Results: The most commonly-used databases for physicians were MEDLINE/PubMed, the Cochrane Library, UpToDate, and MD Consult. In addition, the commonly-used databases for nurses and technicians were databases in Chinese, including the Index to Chinese Periodical Literature, the National Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations in Taiwan, and the Chinese Electronic Periodical Service. For pharmacists, the most commonly-used database was Micromedex. Overall, the most common motivation for accessing the online databases was self-learning, followed by clinical practice, positional promotion, class assignment, instruction preparation, research, medical accreditation and insurance issues.
Conclusions: This national survey depicts the pattern of access to the online databases among various health professionals. There were significant differences between and within main and allied health professionals in their use of online databases. The data provide clinical implications for strategies to promote the accessing of evidence-based information.