• Information Literacy Skills of Occupational Therapy Graduates: A Survey of Learning Outcomes

      Powell, Carol A.; Case-Smith, Jane (Medical Library Association, 2003-10)
      Objectives: The purpose of this study is to assess whether recent graduates of the Ohio State University's Occupational Therapy division are applying information-seeking skills they learned as undergraduates, and to seek their advice on ways to improve information-literacy instruction for current and future occupational therapy students. Method: A survey was sent to a sample of graduates from 1995â 2000. The results were entered into an SPSS database, and descriptive and inferential results were calculated to determine the information-seeking patterns of these recent graduates. Results: A majority of the occupational therapy graduates who responded to the survey prefer to use information resources that are readily available to them, such as advice from their colleagues or supervisors (79%) and the Internet (69%), rather than the evidence available in the journal literature. Twenty-six percent (26%) of the graduates have searched MEDLINE or CINAHL at least once since they graduated. Formal library instruction sessions were considered useful by 42% of the graduates, and 22% of the graduates found informal contacts with librarians to be useful. Conclusions: Librarians and occupational therapy faculty must intensify their efforts to convey the importance of applying research information to patient care and inform students of ways to access this information after they graduate. In addition to teaching searching skills for MEDLINE and CINAHL, they must provide instruction on how to assess the quality of information they find on the Internet. Other findings suggest that occupational therapy practitioners need access to information systems in the clinical setting that synthesize the research in a way that is readily applicable to patient-care issues.