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MANUSCRIPT: The effect of training on question formulation among public health practitioners: results from a randomized controlled trial.

Abstract
OBJECTIVE:
To improve understanding of the information-seeking behaviors of public health professionals, the authors conducted this randomized controlled trial involving sixty participants to determine whether library and informatics training, with an emphasis on PubMed searching skills, increased the frequency and sophistication of participants’ practice-related questions.
METHODS:
The intervention group (n = 34) received evidence-based public health library and informatics training first, whereas the control group (n = 26) received identical training two weeks later. The frequency and sophistication of the questions generated by both intervention and control groups during the interim two-week period served as the basis for comparison.
RESULTS:
The intervention group reported an average of almost 1.8 times more questions than those reported by the control group (1.24 vs. 0.69 questions per participant); however, this difference did not reach statistical significance. The intervention group overall produced more sophisticated (foreground) questions than the control group (18 vs. 9); however, this difference also did not reach statistical significance.
CONCLUSION:
The training provided in the current study seemed to prompt public health practitioners to identify and articulate questions more often. Training appears to create the necessary precondition for increased information-seeking behavior among public health professionals.

via The effect of training on question formulat… [J Med Libr Assoc. 2008] – PubMed – NCBI.

Brian S McGowan, PhD

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Brian is a research scientist and educational technologist. He helped transform Pfizer’s Medical Education Group and previously served in educational leadership roles at HealthAnswers, Inc.; Acumentis, LLC.; Cephalon; and Wyeth. He taught graduate medical education programs at Arcadia University for 10 years. Dr. McGowan recently authored the book "#socialQI: Simple Solutions for Improving Your Healthcare" and has been invited to speak internationally on the subject of information flow, technology, and learning in healthcare.

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