Information Practices Employed by People with Chronic Kidney Disease

Friday, 3 August 2012: 8:30 AM

Ann Bonner, PhD, MA, BAppSc, (Nurs)
School of Nursing, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia
Annemaree Lloyd, PhD, MAppSci, GradDip, SocSci, BA, ALIA
School of Information Studies, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, Australia
Carol Dawson-Rose, PhD, MSN, BSN, RN
Faculty of Nursing, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to understand the emerging field of information practices in health care.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to understand the relationship between information, knowledge and experience used by people with chronic kidney disease.

Purpose: Information practice represents an emerging area of enquiry in health that seeks to reveal how people learn to connect with the complex multimodal information landscapes that informs their ability to make decisions. The nature of this type of enquiry focuses on exploring the underlying relationship between information, knowledge and experience. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a complex condition that significantly impacts on a person’s daily life and requires adherence to treatment regimens. One goal is for people to establish the foundations of positive self-care attitudes and practices, however, little is known about their information practices. This study sought to understand how people with CKD experienced the information environment; the information practices they employ in order to inform decisions regarding treatment; and the range and type of information sources used.

Methods: The study employed a constructivist methodology that focused on how people develop information practices that enable them construct knowledge about their condition and treatment options. People with CKD living in Brisbane were purposively selected and interviewed. Data was subject to thematic analysis by an international collaboration of researchers from nursing and information science.

Results: The results reveal two types of patients. One type appears to adopt a ‘received’ view of information who did not question their condition or its treatment regimen. They passively accepted information from fewer sources and seemed to rely primarily on information from the nephrologist.  In another type, patients were engaged’; they actively identified their information needs, quickly learned what that they needed to ask and who to ask. These patients used a wider range of information sources and trusted information from the renal multi-disciplinary team.

Conclusion: Understanding information practices of people who have complex chronic conditions, particularly the variety of information sources used is useful for nurses when planning, implementing and evaluating patient educational strategies.