Assessment of physicians' information needs in five Texas counties

Bull Med Libr Assoc. 1994 Apr;82(2):189-96.


In 1990, a questionnaire was mailed to all physicians in four counties in the lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas and to a random sample of physicians in Bexar County, Texas (San Antonio). Two hundred and eighty of 573 Valley physicians (48.9%) and 162 of 273 Bexar County physicians (59.3%) responded to the survey, for an overall response rate of 52.2%. The two groups were compared primarily to determine differences between physicians who have access to established medical libraries and physicians who practice in remote areas without local access to medical information. Demographic variables, professional practice characteristics, and patient characteristics were compared. Information resource use, particularly reasons for use and non-use of MEDLINE, was explored. Questions also were asked about the availability of various types of information technology. The results indicated that differences in the health care profile did not affect the information usage of the physicians but that differences did exist between the two groups in the use of MEDLINE and libraries. There was no statistically significant difference in either group's rating of experience with using databases, with more than 40% in each group rating themselves as not at all experienced.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Libraries, Medical / supply & distribution*
  • MEDLINE / statistics & numerical data*
  • Physicians*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'
  • Random Allocation
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Texas