INFORMATION BEHAVIOUR AND WORK EFFECTIVENESS OF PHYSICIANS IN SELECTED GOVERNMENT HOSPITALS IN EDO STATE, NIGERIA
Physicians, as health care providers, require information to effectively carry out their duties. They need relevant, accurate and up-to-date information when making clinical decisions as the cost of wrong diagnosis could be fatal. It has, however, been observed that the information behaviour of physicians in government hospitals and the quality of their work delivery fall below acceptable standards. Also, there is uncertainty as to what extent physicians’ information behaviour affect their work effectiveness. This study was therefore carried out to investigate the relationship between information behaviour and work effectiveness of physicians in selected government hospitals in Edo State, Nigeria.
The study adopted a survey research design. The population for the study comprised all the physicians in general and tertiary hospitals in Edo State. Purposive sampling was used to select 6 out of the 12 government hospitals because they are well known. Since the population was not very large, census was used to include all the 623 physicians in the study. A structured questionnaire titled “Information behaviour and work effectiveness of physicians in government hospitals in Edo State” (IBWEPQ) was used to gather data. The questionnaire was validated and the Cronbach’s Alpha reliability test for the constructs yielded 0.728 for information needs, 0.986 for information retrieval and 0.756 for work effectiveness. Out of the 623 copies of questionnaire administered, 516 (82.8%) were retrieved for analysis. Six hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance. Descriptive and regressive/correlation inferential statistics were used to analyze the data collected.
The findings revealed a positive relationship between information needs of physicians and their work effectiveness (r = 0.422: p< 0.05); a positive relationship between information seeking behaviour of physicians and their work effectiveness (r = 0.090:p<0.05);a positive relationship between information consulted and their work effectiveness (r = -0.159: p<0.05). However, there was a negative relationship between information retrieval by physicians and their work effectiveness (r = 0.004:p<0.05); a negative relationship between information they used and their work effectiveness (r = 0.605: p<0.05). The findings also revealed that the major health information need of physicians in government hospitals in Edo State was on treatment and test of patients (87.2%); the major sources of information consulted included medical texts, colleagues and the Internet (97.9%, 97.1%, 90.3%, respectively); the major challenges facing physicians in government hospitals were ignorance of existing relevant materials, lack of time and financial constraints (100%; 97.1%; 96.9%, respectively); respondents’ commitment to organizational goals was not satisfactory (34.4%). The study concluded that financial constraints and lack of time adversely affected physicians’ ability to access relevant materials necessary for work effectiveness. The study recommended that the management of government hospitals should boost their e-libraries and provide better working conditions for physicians to enhance their service delivery and commitment to organizational goals. Physicians in government hospitals should be pro-active in updating themselves in general medical knowledge in order to keep abreast emerging diseases.
Keywords: Information use, Information behaviour, Information retrieval skills, Work, effectiveness, Government hospitals, Physicians.