SEEK: Salford Environment for Expertise and Knowledge

Journal Article (Refereed)
January 2011

'Evaluating clinical librarian services: a systematic review'

Brettle, A & Maden-Jenkins, M & Anderson, L & McNally, R & Pratchett, T & Thornton, D & Webb, A 2011, ''Evaluating clinical librarian services: a systematic review' ', Health Information & Libraries Journal, 28(1), pp.3-22.

Abstract

Background: Previous systematic reviews have indicated limited evidence and poor quality evaluations of clinical librarian (CL) services. Rigorous evaluations should demonstrate the value of CL services, but guidance is needed before this can be achieved. Objectives: To undertake a systematic review which examines models of CL services, quality, methods and perspectives of clinical librarian service evaluations. Methods: Systematic review methodology and synthesis of evidence, undertaken collaboratively by a group of 8 librarians to develop research and critical appraisal skills. Results: There are four clear models of clinical library service provision. Clinical librarians are effective in saving health professionals time, providing relevant, useful information and high quality services. Clinical librarians have a positive effect on clinical decision making by contributing to better informed decisions, diagnosis and choice of drug or therapy. The quality of CL studies is improving, but more work is needed on reducing bias and providing evidence of specific impacts on patient care. The Critical Incident Technique as part of a mixed method approach appears to offer a useful approach to demonstrating impact. Conclusions: This systematic review provides practical guidance regarding the evaluation of CL services. It also provides updated evidence regarding the effectiveness and impact of CL services. The approach used was successful in developing research and critical appraisal skills in a group of librarians.

Authors

SEEK Members

External Authors

Lucy Anderson

Michelle Maden-Jenkins

Anne Webb

Debra Thornton

Tracey Pratchett

Rosalind McNally

Publication Details

Journal Name
Health Information & Libraries Journal

Volume
28(1)

Pagination
3-22.