Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Health Info Libr J. 2010 Sep;27(3):198-207. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-1842.2010.00890.x.

The SPECTRAL project: a training needs analysis for providers of clinical question answering services.

Author information

  • 1School of Health & Related Research (ScHARR), University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK.



To characterise the training needs of those providing clinical question answering services (CQAS).


Seventeen specialist UK staff working in CQAS, 21 from general health library UK staff and eight international respondents.


A literature review examined documented training needs for CQAS staff. A follow-up questionnaire examined prior training and experience and identified training needs for the surveyed staff.


Ninety per cent of CQAS staff had worked in health services for 3 years or longer. Training received in preparation for the CQAS role comprised literature searching (including the PRECEPT/ADEPT and cochrane library courses) and critical appraisal. Skills considered 'essential' for clinical question answering were 'literature searching' (100%), 'understanding the context of clinical questions', 'bibliographic databases', 'evidence-based sources' and 'the Internet' (all 93%). Main training needs for specialist CQAS staff include management and organisation of CQAS and technical skills in interpretation and presentation.


CQAS staff require a formal training programme. Most CQAS staff considered that this should be a mandatory requirement.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Blackwell Publishing
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk