test Browse by Author Names Browse by Titles of Works Browse by Subjects of Works Browse by Issue Dates of Works
       

Advanced Search
Home   
 
Browse   
Communities
& Collections
  
Issue Date   
Author   
Title   
Subject   
 
Sign on to:   
Receive email
updates
  
My Account
authorized users
  
Edit Profile   
 
Help   
About T-Space   

T-Space at The University of Toronto Libraries >
Journal of Medical Internet Research >
Volume 8 (2006) >

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/4913


Title: Health Information Literacy and Competencies of Information Age Students: Results From the Interactive Online Research Readiness Self-Assessment (RRSA)
Authors: Ivanitskaya, Lana
O’Boyle, Irene
Casey, Anne Marie
Keywords: Health information
electronic health information
evaluation of electronic resources
electronics
telecommunications
consumer health information
patient education
educational status
computer network
Issue Date: 21-Apr-2006
Publisher: Gunther Eysenbach; Centre for Global eHealth Innovation, Toronto, Canada
Citation: Ivanitskaya L, O’Boyle I, Casey AM. Health Information Literacy and Competencies of Information Age Students: Results From the Interactive Online Research Readiness Self-Assessment (RRSA). J Med Internet Res 2006;8(2):e6. <URL: http://www.jmir.org/2006/2/e6/>
Abstract: [This item is a preserved copy and is not necessarily the most recent version. To view the current item, visit http://www.jmir.org/2006/2/e6/]Background: In an era of easy access to information, university students who will soon enter health professions need to develop their information competencies. The Research Readiness Self-Assessment (RRSA) is based on the Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education, and it measures proficiency in obtaining health information, evaluating the quality of health information, and understanding plagiarism. Objective: This study aimed to measure the proficiency of college-age health information consumers in finding and evaluating electronic health information; to assess their ability to discriminate between peer-reviewed scholarly resources and opinion pieces or sales pitches; and to examine the extent to which they are aware of their level of health information competency. Methods: An interactive 56-item online assessment, the Research Readiness Self-Assessment (RRSA), was used to measure the health information competencies of university students. We invited 400 students to take part in the study, and 308 participated, giving a response rate of 77%. The RRSA included multiple-choice questions and problem-based exercises. Declarative and procedural knowledge were assessed in three domains: finding health information, evaluating health information, and understanding plagiarism. Actual performance was contrasted with self-reported skill level. Upon answering all questions, students received a results page that summarized their numerical results and displayed individually tailored feedback composed by an experienced librarian. Results: Even though most students (89%) understood that a one-keyword search is likely to return too many documents, few students were able to narrow a search by using multiple search categories simultaneously or by employing Boolean operators. In addition, nearly half of the respondents had trouble discriminating between primary and secondary sources of information as well as between references to journal articles and other published documents. When presented with questionable websites on nonexistent nutritional supplements, only 50% of respondents were able to correctly identify the website with the most trustworthy features. Less than a quarter of study participants reached the correct conclusion that none of the websites made a good case for taking the nutritional supplements. Up to 45% of students were unsure if they needed to provide references for ideas expressed in paraphrased sentences or sentences whose structure they modified. Most respondents (84%) believed that their research skills were good, very good, or excellent. Students’ self-perceptions of skill tended to increase with increasing level of education. Self-reported skills were weakly correlated with actual skill level, operationalized as the overall RRSA score (Cronbach alpha = .78 for 56 RRSA items). Conclusions: While the majority of students think that their research skills are good or excellent, many of them are unable to conduct advanced information searches, judge the trustworthiness of health-related websites and articles, and differentiate between various information sources. Students’ self-reports may not be an accurate predictor of their actual health information competencies.
Description: Reviewer: McLeroy, K
Reviewer: Simms, M
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/4913
ISSN: 1438-8871
Other Identifiers: doi:10.2196/jmir.8.2.e6
Rights: Copyright (cc) Retained by author(s) under a Creative Commons License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
Appears in Collections:Volume 8 (2006)

Files in This Item:

File Description SizeFormat
fulltext.html86.93 kBHTMLView/Open

Items in T-Space are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

uoft