Nursing students and Internet health information

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Publication details

Scott, SD, Gilmour, J & Fielden, J 2008, 'Nursing students and Internet health information', Nurse Education Today, vol. 28, pp. 993-1001.

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This study investigates use of the internet by nursing students to access health information and their evaluation practices in relation to this information. The research method was a retrospective descriptive postal survey. A questionnaire was sent to all undergraduate students enrolled in a Bachelor of Nursing programme at a New Zealand university in 2005. The response rate was 50% or 174 responses. Findings from the study included marked variations in respondents ability to successfully search for and evaluate relevant internet health and nursing information. Few respondents assessed patients use of the internet to gather health information or assisted patients with evaluation. As searching, evaluating and sharing online information is a core element of nursing practice, formal education to develop competency in the ability of all nursing students to retrieve and assess internet health information is essential. The integration of these skills into nursing practice is a vital step in developing new approaches to working with knowledgeable consumers of internet health information.

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