Information literacy is important for evidence-based nursing and quality patient care.
Hospice/palliative nurses are often unaffiliated with academic institutions and may experience barriers accessing information. The project’s goals were to identify nurses’ (1) access to evidence-based resources, (2) information literacy skills, and (3) training needs.
The research design was a descriptive assessment. Members of the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association in 4 states received the assessment in collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh. The methodology yielded data on information needs, access, and literacy skills. Data analysis included frequency distributions, cross tabulations, and a χ2 test.
Of the respondents, 69% worked clinically. The need for drug or disease information occurred in 89% to 100% of respondents across sites. Respondents knew of PubMed in 28% to 70% of sites. Evidence databases were unavailable in 7% to 39% of settings. The most frequent source of information was colleagues (74%), followed by Internet searches (70%). About 43% of respondents felt confident using health literacy strategies. The greatest training needs were finding quality nursing information (79%), reliable patient education (65%), and evidence for practice/quality improvement (64%). There is a large need for quality nursing, patient, and evidence-based information in hospice environments. Hospice nurses access the Internet, although evidence/database access is often lacking or unknown, making it suboptimal.