Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Webinar survey results

Last week I posted a survey link to gauge interest in and potential content for a webinar on how to review medical literature critically. I had a great response, and wanted to share the data with you.

The web page got 302 hits, resulting in 82 survey responses. This is a 27% rate of response, which certainly sets the results up to be biased and non-generalizable. But what the heck? I was looking to hear from people with some interest in this, not all-comers. So, here are the questions and the aggregated answers.

Q1: "I am thinking about creating a webinar based on some of the posts I have done on how to review medical literature. Would this be of interest to you?
R1: 82 people responded, of whom 81 (99%) answered "yes".

Q2: Are you a healthcare professional/researcher, an e-patient, or just an innocent bystander?
R2: 82 responses, 60 (72%) healthcare professionals/researchers, 5 (6%) e-patients, 17 (21%) innocent bystanders

Q3: Why do you feel the need to understand how to review medical literature
R3: This was a free text field, and I got 73 responses. Of these, many had to do with gaining a better understanding of the subject in order to help others (patients, clients, trainees) learn how to read and understand medical literature.

Q4: This question was only for those who responded "yes" to being a healthcare professional/researcher: Do you engage in journal peer review as a reviewer?
R2: Of 60 responses, only 7 (12%) were "yes".

Q5: Similar to Q4, this question was for only those who responded "yes" to Q4: Have you had formal training on how to be an effective peer reviewer?
R2: All 7 responded, of whom only 2 (29%) had formal training through a journal or a professional society, The remaining 5 (71%) have gained pertinent knowledge through reading about it. None of the responders got any reviewing courses during their medical training. Although the sample size is small, the responses are revealing and go along with my experience.

Q6: This question was targeted to only those responders who identified themselves as e-patients: How technical do you want the webinar information to get?
R2: All 5 e-patients answered this question, of whom 2 were comfortable with some degree of technicality, while the remaining 3 were comfortable with a greater degree of it.

Q7: This question was for all responders who expressed interest in having a webinar: Would you want one session or multiple sessions?
R2: Of the 80 responders, 21 (26%) felt that 1 session would suffice, 40 (50%) would be amenable to up to 3 sessions, and 11 (14%) would do up to 5 sessions. The remaining 8 (10%) of the responders chose "other", where their replies ranged from "no clue" to "as many as you see fit" to "let's start an ongoing discussion."

Q8: This was for those who would prefer a single session: How long should the session be?
R2: Of the 20 responses, 10 (50%) indicated 1 hour, while the majority of the rest indicated 2 hours.

Q9: If you are a part of an institution, do you think this would be of interest to your institution?
R9: 70 people responded, with 39 (56%) saying "yes" and 31 (44%) saying "no".

Q10: This was for those responding "yes" to Q9: What type of an institution are you a part of?
R10: All 39 people responded, and there was a range of institutions from medical schools to hospitals to government organizations to academic libraries. What was interesting here was that none of the "yes" responses to Q9 came from anyone in Biopharma or a professional organization or a patient advocacy organization. This I found surprising.

Overall, I am very pleased with the response. I am grateful to Janice McCallum (@janicemccallum on Twitter) for spreading the word to a lestserv of medical librarians. It certainly looks like there is enough interest in a webinar, and now I have to figure out how to execute one. If anyone has ideas, please, let me know in comments here or via e-mail.

Thanks again to all who took the time to respond!                

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