Clinical information seeking in traumatic brain injury: a survey of Veterans Health Administration polytrauma care team members

Timothy Hogan, Rachael Martinez, Charlesnika Evans, Karen Saban, Eric Proescher, Monica Steiner, Bridget Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: The polytraumatic nature of traumatic brain injury (TBI) makes diagnosis and treatment difficult. Objectives: To (1) characterise information needs among Veterans Health Administration (VHA) polytrauma care team members engaged in the diagnosis and treatment of TBI; (2) identify sources used for TBI related information; and (3) identify barriers to accessing TBI related information. Methods: Cross-sectional online survey of 236 VHA polytrauma care team members. Results: Most respondents (95.8%) keep at least somewhat current regarding TBI, but 31.5% need more knowledge on diagnosing TBI and 51.3% need more knowledge on treating TBI. Respondents use VHA affiliated sources for information, including local colleagues (81.7%), VHA offsite conferences/meetings (78.3%) and onsite VHA educational offerings (73.6%); however, limited time due to administrative responsibilities (50.9%), limited financial resources (50.4%) and patient care (50.4%) were prominent barriers. Discussion: Medical librarians are in a unique position to develop information services, resources and other electronic tools that reflect the clinical context in which polytrauma care team members practice, and the different tasks they perform. Conclusion: Polytrauma care team members could benefit from additional information regarding the diagnosis and treatment of TBI. Addressing their information needs and supporting their information seeking requires a mulit-pronged approach to time and financial constraints.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-49
Number of pages12
JournalHealth Information and Libraries Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • information management
  • information seeking behaviour
  • libraries
  • medical
  • surveys

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Library and Information Sciences
  • Health Information Management


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