Anyaoku, Ebele N. and Nwosu, Obiora C. Extent of Access to Health Information and Sources for Chronic Disease Patients in Tertiary Health Institutions in South East Nigeria: Implications for Libraries Role
Access to relevant health information is essential for helping people to take good decisions to enhance their health and well-being. The research examined the importance, level and sources of access to health information for patients with chronic diseases in two Federal Government Teaching Hospitals in South East Nigeria. The research is a cross-sectional survey that used questionnaire to collect data. Sample was 784 patients in two Federal Government Teaching Hospitals in South East Nigeria. Research questions focused on the importance of health information, extent of patients’ access to disease, coping and treatment information. Findings show that while large majority indicated high access to treatment information, about one third to half indicated little or no access to many aspects of disease – specific and coping information. Major source of health information were health professionals. Internet, books, newspapers, pamphlets were also sources of health information. Health information providers can consider areas of low information access for possible focus when planning health information disseminating activities. For medical and public libraries in the zone, sequel to building good consumer health information collections, they should extend their services by engaging in outreach programmes to their user communities. This will serve the dual purpose of creating awareness of their collections and also improve access to quality health information to patients with chronic diseases.