Increasing state public health professionals' proficiency in using PubMed

  • Harwell T
  • Law D
  • Ander J
 et al. 
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OBJECTIVE: The paper provides an overview of a strategy to increase utilization of online bibliographic databases by public health workers. METHODS: A web-based survey of professional staff in the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services was conducted to assess their use of and interest in training in online bibliographic databases. Based on the findings from the assessment, the department, in collaboration with the state university, provided brief ninety-minute training sessions for interested staff on the use of PubMed. RESULTS: Seventy of 115 (61%) of staff completed the survey. Only 39% of staff reported using an online bibliographic database to conduct a literature search in the past year, and only 10% (n=7) reported having ever received any training in their use. Perceived proficiency with the use of PubMed was higher upon completion of the brief training. The majority of training participants (n=27) indicated that they were very likely to use PubMed in the next year to search the literature. CONCLUSIONS: A collaboratively designed training can increase public health workers' proficiency in and intentions of using online bibliographic databases.

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  • Todd S. Harwell

  • Dionne Gesink Law

  • Jennifer L. Ander

  • Steven D. Helgerson

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