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The internet is an important source of information used to produce, store, process, and disseminate information. This study examined accessibility to and use of internet health information resources among doctors in training healthcare institutions in South-West Nigeria.
The study employed both quantitative and qualitative research methods for data collection. The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) was used for analyzing the data. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics including frequency counts, percentages, charts, mean and standard deviation.
The mean age of the respondents is 34.0 ± 4.46 years and 69.0% were males. The majority (93.5%) hold the Bachelor of Medicine/Surgery and Dental Surgery degrees. The internet was accessed by 36.3% respondents from a computer at home and office through personal subscription to service providers. More than two-thirds (69.5%) accessed internet health information resources daily from their homes while 56.8% did so with their mobile phones. Email, Google Yahoo and MEDLINE/PubMed were very easily accessed and used by the respondents. The respondents used internet health information resources mainly for academic purposes namely preparation for presentation (98.8%), examination (94.5%), research (93.1%).
Internet use at home has increased with more people now accessing information online with their mobile phones. The constraints to use of internet health information resources are slow connection speed, frequent power outages, low bandwidth, lack of time and high connection costs. The management of the 13 healthcare institutions should make available internet facilities to encourage use of online information resources by medical professionals. Librarians should intensify effort in promoting information literacy skills to healthcare professionals, create awareness on available resources and teach doctors how to access and retrieve online health information.