Challenges of bridging the information literacy gap for the practice of Evidence Based Healthcare in India
Sriganesh, V. (2005) Challenges of bridging the information literacy gap for the practice of Evidence Based Healthcare in India. In: ICML9, 20-23 Sep 2005, Salvadore, Brazil.
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Evidence Based Healthcare is a concept spreading steadily in India. To practice EBHC, healthcare professionals need to know how to search and retrieve literature from the top rung of the Evidence Pyramid, and then to critically appraise papers. Teaching of both these skills is limited to a few institutions where self-motivated individuals have learnt these skills themselves, and are willing to teach others. In practically all these programs, the emphasis is more on Critical Appraisal skills, and next to nothing on searching. The need to have searching skills in the curriculum is just beginning to be felt. The Government of India’s National Informatics Centre conducts programs in literature searching, but the reach across the country is still not adequate. The challenges of bridging the gap in information skills searching are discussed. These include budgetary constraints, lack of well-trained and or poorly motivated medical librarians, and the absence of the need for accreditation. Some recommendations to tackle these, and also to handle the problems of access to full text articles are proposed. The author’s efforts in reaching out to institutions to train professionals are also discussed.
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