ERIC Number: ED431135
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Apr
Information-Seeking Activity of Rural Health Practitioners.
Matsuda, Sandra; Donaldson, Joe F.
The information-seeking activity (ISA) of 16 rural health practitioners (occupational, physical, and respiratory therapists; radiological technologists; speech/language pathologists; and nurses) was explored using qualitative methods of participant observation, document collection, and in-depth interviews. Field notes and documents were collected in two rural nursing homes. Participants described situations in which they needed information to solve clinical problems. Contextual differences appeared in how in-house and external contract practitioners used time and resources. In-house staff were more connected to their community, facility, and work space; external staff had connections outside the work setting. Making connections emerged as the core strategy used. Access to time and resources was a core condition influencing ISA. Barriers to ISA were classified as internal, intangible, and tangible. Preferences included technology access and continued learning close to home. Conclusions were as follows: ISA is regulated by a work environment that dictates demands and resources; practitioners are influenced by and play an active role in modifying their environment and can be empowered by their environments in seeking information; and investment in a community of practice can make it easier for rural practitioners to seek information and serve as information resources. (Contains 45 references.) (Author/YLB)
Descriptors: Access to Information, Allied Health Occupations, Allied Health Occupations Education, Continuing Education, Information Needs, Information Seeking, Nurses, Nursing Homes, Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, Radiologic Technologists, Respiratory Therapy, Rural Areas, Speech Language Pathology, Technological Literacy, User Needs (Information), Work Environment
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Montreal, Quebec, Canada, April 19-23, 1999).