Information behaviour of medical faculty in the tertiary health institutions in Kwara State Nigeria.
The study investigated the information behaviour of medical faculty in the tertiary health institutions in Kwara State, Nigeria. The study sought to determine the information needs, information sources used, information utilisation, information sharing and information for collaboration of medical faculty in the health tertiary institutions in Kwara State, Nigeria. Wilson's (1994) and Leckie et al.'s (1996) models of information behaviour underpinned the study. The study also used the post-positivist research paradigm as the theoretical lens to illuminate the research problem. A combination of quantitative and qualitative methods were used as the study design. The population of the study comprised of management staff, deans of faculties, heads of departments, faculty and medical librarians. A purposive strategy was used to select the samples from the respective populations. Data was collected through a survey questionnaire and interviews. To ensure the reliability and validity of the results, an Explorative Factor Analysis (EFA) was performed on the findings of a pre-tested questionnaire. The results of the pre-test indicated that the observed variables in the research instruments were reliable and valid. The quantitative and qualitative data obtained from the main study were analysed using SPSS (Statistical Packages for Social Sciences) software and thematic analysis respectively to generate descriptive and inferential statistics. Findings revealed that 99 (61.1%) of males in the age range of 31 - 40 had BSc degrees. The findings showed that a majority, 85 (52.5%) of respondents were affiliated to the College of Health Sciences, University of Ilorin, and 47 (29.0%) to Nursing Services. In addition, 147 (90.7%) of respondents were full-time faculty in the institutions surveyed. There were 31 (19.1%) consultants among the respondents of which 40 (24.7%) had served the institutions for 6-10 years and 63 (38.9%) had spent between 1-5 years in their present institutions. The findings generally indicated that 106 (65.4%) of respondents sought information from senior colleagues. The findings further revealed that 55 (34%) of respondents consulted information sources fortnightly and another 106 (65.4%) indicated that they received information through faculty board and departmental meetings. Furthermore, 62 (38.3%) of respondents spent 41% - 60% of their time seeking information while 103 (63.6%) indicated that books were their most sought after information source from the library. In addition, 52 (32.1%) of respondents preferred reader services to any other services provided by medical libraries. The findings showed that the most frequently used tools by faculty to access information were library catalogues 60 (37.0%). The findings also revealed that 86 (53.1%) of respondents used their institutional library to access information while 144 (88.9%) used the internet for accessing information. The findings showed that information for collaboration, information utilisation and information sharing were reasons why faculty sought information to fulfil teaching, research and patient care information needs. Findings further showed that 61 (37.7%) respondents visited the library to access information while 90 (55.8%) asked for second opinions from colleagues. The respondents identified several challenges they faced in seeking information which included inadequate resources, lack of qualified staff, limited funding, high cost of journal subscriptions, limited library space and limited opening hours of the library. The study recommended education and training, to create awareness for both medical librarians and medical faculty about the diversity of, and use of information resources (in both print and electronic formats) available, and continuing professional development through workshops, seminars and an academic community of practice as part of capacity building of medical faculty in the quest to fulfil their information needs. The study further recommended the need to provide an adequate budgetary allocation that would enable the provision of information resources to support the needs of medical faculty in the tertiary health institutions in Kwara State, Nigeria. Emphasis should also be given to the information infrastructure for development, improving Internet access, information literacy programmes, and a mentoring plan for junior medical faculty to become independent information seekers and users. In addition, library opening hours in the institutions should be made flexible and extended so that information can be accessed beyond working hours; coordinated information sharing and collaboration programmes such as the community of practice should be encouraged among medical faculty. Tertiary health institutions should also strive to strengthen the collection of up to date and relevant medical books to satisfy the demand for this preferred information source by the faculty. Skills training for catalogue use, databases access, computer literacy skills, Internet access and Medline materials access skills should be provided.