Internet-specific epistemic beliefs in medicine and intention to use evidence-based online medical databases among health care professionals: Cross-sectional survey

Yen Lin Chiu, Yu Chen Lee, Chin Chung Tsai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Evidence-based medicine has been regarded as a prerequisite for ensuring health care quality. The increase in health care professionals' adoption of web-based medical information and the lack of awareness of alternative access to evidence-based online resources suggest the need for an investigation of their information-searching behaviors of using evidence-based online medical databases. Objective: The main purposes of this study were to (1) modify and validate the internet-specific epistemic beliefs in medicine (ISEBM) questionnaire and (2) explore the associations between health care professionals' demographics, ISEBM, and intention to use evidence-based online medical databases for clinical practice. Methods: Health care professionals in a university-affiliated teaching hospital were surveyed using the ISEBM questionnaire. The partial least squares-structural equation modeling was conducted to analyze the reliability and validity of ISEBM. Furthermore, the structural model was analyzed to examine the possible linkages between health professionals' demographics, ISEBM, and intention to utilize the evidence-based online medical databases for clinical practice. Results: A total of 273 health care professionals with clinical working experience were surveyed. The results of the measurement model analysis indicated that all items had significant loadings ranging from 0.71 to 0.92 with satisfactory composite reliability values ranging from 0.87 to 0.94 and average variance explained values ranging from 0.70 to 0.84. The results of the structural relationship analysis revealed that the source of internet-based medical knowledge (path coefficient -0.26, P=.01) and justification of internet-based knowing in medicine (path coefficient 0.21, P=.001) were correlated with the intention to use evidence-based online medical databases. However, certainty and simplicity of internet-based medical knowledge were not. In addition, gender (path coefficient 0.12, P=.04) and academic degree (path coefficient 0.15, P=.004) were associated with intention to use evidence-based online medical databases for clinical practice. Conclusions: Advancing health care professionals' ISEBM regarding source and justification may encourage them to retrieve valid medical information through evidence-based medical databases. Moreover, providing support for specific health care professionals (ie, females, without a master's degree) may promote their intention to use certain databases for clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere20030
JournalJournal of Medical Internet Research
Volume23
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Mar

Keywords

  • Evidence-based medicine (EBM)
  • Health care professionals
  • Internet-specific epistemic beliefs
  • Medical informatics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics

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