Research to improve how people get information

Tiffany Ciesicki

Most people have picked up those little brochures in their doctor’s office without much thought.

But Mary Stansbury, professor in the School of Library Information and Science, and Ruth Ludwick, professor in the College of Nursing, recently received a grant totaling $511,925 that will fund research to determine if the information in those brochures does any good.

The research is not all about the brochures, however. It will also investigate other ways people get health information and which ways work the best.

Ludwick said the pair wants to improve the way people receive health information.

She said this will primarily benefit librarians and information providers because they will be more knowledgeable of how to provide information to people. It will also benefit health care providers, who don’t always know how best to present information to individuals.

“We want to really identify what factors affect health information seeking behaviors,” Ludwick said.

Once the information is gathered, they will create a Web-based resource for health care and information providers, Stansbury said.

Stansbury and Ludwick said the project is directed especially toward elderly people, who have more trouble accessing and understanding health care information.

“We are helping the people who work with the elderly,” Stansbury said.

Both Stansbury and Ludwick said they are excited to begin the project.

“One of the exciting things is it’s an interdisciplinary team,” Stansbury said. “We are broadening the understanding of our approach by having people from many departments.”

Ludwick said having many different departments involved will make the research more successful.

“No one profession has all the answers, and we as professionals have to do a better job of working together,” she said.

Contact library reporter Tiffany Ciesicki at [email protected].