Pakistan Journal of Information Management and Libraries, Vol 17 (2016)

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Barriers Faced by Rural and Non-Rural Primary Care Physicians During the Process of Seeking Health Information from their Practice Settings

Salman Bin Naeem, Rubina Bhatti


To compare the barriers (e.g., relating to health information content, efficiency, availability, etc.) that obstruct the health information behavior of primary care physicians (PCPs) in a rural versus non-rural practice setting. A survey was conducted in the Public health facilities of the District of Multan, Pakistan. Primary care physicians (PCPs) were classified into rural and non-rural according to their practice setting. The term non-rural was used to avoid the confusion with other terms such as urban and metropolitan. Convenience sampling was used to gather the data for this study. Post-hoc Chi-square test was applied to assess any difference between the demographic information of the rural and non-rural PCPs. Mann-Whitney U statistics were applied to assess the differences among the barriers (e.g., relating to health information content, efficiency, availability, etc.) faced by PCPs in rural and non-rural practice settings. The difference in gender of the PCPs was much higher in rural than non-rural practice settings. Almost half the respondents were in the 31-40 year age range, and that- of this group most were working in non-rural settings. The barriers faced by PCPs (relating to health information content, availability, cost, efficiency and skills) in rural and non-rural practice settings were significantly different. Age as well as working experience was statistically significant factors which were perceived by PCPs as the barriers lying in their way of seeking health information. The findings of this study showed that PCPs in a non-rural setting faced significantly greater barriers relating to information content, efficiency, skills, availability, and cost) than the ones faced by PCPs in a rural setting.

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