Reading habits of infection control coordinators in the United States: Peer-reviewed or non–peer-reviewed evidence?

      Background

      Because evidence-based health care is taking on increasing importance, we surveyed a national sample of infection control coordinators on their reading habits to discern which and how often various media are utilized.

      Methods

      Infection control coordinators at 797 hospitals in the United States were mailed a survey asking which peer-reviewed journals and other publications they subscribe to, their perception of the quality of the infection control articles provided by each, and the extent to which they use various resources for their work.

      Results

      The survey response rate was 74%. Infection control coordinators spend a mean of 3.6 hours/week reading journals or periodicals. Resources identified as most useful included the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Web site (52%), the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. (APIC) text (11%), and the APIC e-mail list (8%). Proportion of subscribers was highest for the American Journal of Infection Control (84%) and Infection Control Today (72%). The top 3 journals ranked on a scale of 1 to 10 for quality of infection control articles were Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology (8.0), the American Journal of Infection Control (7.5), and the New England Journal of Medicine (7.4). The American Journal of Infection Control (85%) and Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology (72%) were the most frequently used peer-reviewed sources of information, whereas Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (85%) and Hospital Infection Control (63%) ranked at the top for nonpeer-reviewed periodicals.

      Conclusion

      Infection control coordinators devote limited time to reading and critically appraising published evidence and rely heavily on sources that provide rapid access to information or evidence summaries, suggesting a growing need for easy-to-read, reliable sources of information about evidence-based infection prevention and control practices.
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