Efficacy and efficiency of information retrieval of community family physicians at the point of care: exploring the associations with information and computer literacy


  • Jumana Antoun American University of Beirut
  • Jennifer Lapin Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership, Walden University
  • Dennis Beck University of Arkansas




Evidence-based medicine, information literacy, digital literacy, computer literacy, family physicians, Arab countries


Objective: This study aimed to measure the association between the efficacy/efficiency of digital information retrieval among community family physicians at the point of care and information and computer literacy.

Methods: This study is a part of a cross-sectional anonymous online survey-based study among community family physicians who reported no affiliation with an academic institution in eight Arab countries.

Results: A total of 72 physicians were included. The mean total score for the information literacy scale was 59.8 out of 91 (SD = 11.4). The mean score was 29.3 (SD = 5.6) out of 55 on the computer literacy scale. A one-way ANOVA revealed a statistically significant association between information literacy and information retrieval efficacy (F (2,69) = 4.466, p = 0.015) and efficiency of information retrieval (F (2.69) = 4.563, p = 0.014). Computer literacy was not associated with information retrieval efficacy or efficiency.

Conclusion: The information and computer literacy scores of community family physicians in eight Arab countries are average. Information literacy, rather than computer literacy, is positively associated with the efficacy and efficiency of information retrieval at the point of care. There is room for improvement in evidence-based medicine curricula and continuous professional development to improve information literacy for better information retrieval and patient care.

Author Biographies

Jumana Antoun, American University of Beirut

https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2159-427X, Professor of Famly Medicine, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon

Jennifer Lapin, Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership, Walden University

Contributing Faculty, Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership, Walden University, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Dennis Beck, University of Arkansas

https://orcid.org/0003-1771-3237, Associate Professor of Educational Technology, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA


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Original Investigation