Defining information need in health - assimilating complex theories derived from information science

Ormandy, P ORCID: 2011, 'Defining information need in health - assimilating complex theories derived from information science' , Health Expectations, 14 (1) , pp. 92-104.

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Key policy drivers worldwide include optimising the patient’s role in managing their care; focusing services around patient needs and preferences to facilitate choice; and providing the information to help them make those choices. The term information need penetrates many policy documents, espoused as the foundation from which to develop patient-centred or patient led services. Yet there is no clear definition as to what the term means or how patient information needs inform and shape information provision and patient care. Theoretical Synthesis: The assimilation of complex theories originating from information science has much to offer patient information need within the context of health. This paper extends and applies knowledge of information behaviour alongside research measuring information need in health, exposing a working definition for patient information need. Reiterating the importance of considering the patient’s goals and information need in conjunction with understanding the context/situation in which they transpire. Health research often focuses on the content of information patients prefer not why they need information. A patient information need is defined as ‘recognition that their knowledge is inadequate to satisfy a goal, within the context/situation that they find themselves at a specific point in the time’. This typifies the key concepts of national/international health policy, the centrality and importance of the patient. Conclusion: The definition of patient information need provides a clear conceptual framework to guide healthcare practitioners on why and what to consider when meeting the information needs of patients in practice. This creates a solid foundation from which to inform future research.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Subjects / Themes > R Medicine > RT Nursing
Health and Wellbeing
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society > Centre for Applied Research in Health, Welfare and Policy
Schools > School of Health and Society
Journal or Publication Title: Health Expectations
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1369-6513
Depositing User: Institutional Repository
Date Deposited: 09 May 2011 15:17
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 15:51

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