Have digital resources taken a wrong turn on the health information journey

Adams, Anne; Attfield, Simon and Blandford, Ann (2004). Have digital resources taken a wrong turn on the health information journey. In: Health Digital Libraries Workshop (HDL04) at ECDL '04, 16 Sep 2004, University of Bath, Bath, UK.

URL: http://www.soi.city.ac.uk/~patty/HDL2004/HDL%20200...

Abstract

This paper discusses the health information needs and drivers of UK patients in terms of a health ‘information journey’. This journey is identified from the experiences of both NHS Direct, who provide information services, and patients themselves. 22 in-depth interviews were conducted with patients and information providers at NHS Direct. The findings identify a health ‘information journey’ for the patient from ‘initiating information requirements’ to the ‘facilitation of that information’ and the need for ‘contextualized information interpretation’ and mediation. We also discuss how NHS Direct uses information resources to support patients’ needs by specifying elements of the information journey they do and do not support, and how those needs are supported by other professionals. The study has shown that patients are often confused about how various resources fit into their journey (e.g. can doctors facilitate information retrieval, will they provide barriers to its interpretation). The findings of this paper support health digital library designers in their development of appropriate systems and support for those systems.

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