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Prev Chronic Dis. 2014 Aug 14;11:E138. doi: 10.5888/pcd11.140201.

Information-seeking among chronic disease prevention staff in state health departments: use of academic journals.

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Brown School, Washington University in St Louis, One Brookings Dr, Campus Box 1196, St Louis, MO 63130. E-mail:
Prevention Research Center in St Louis.
Prevention Research Center in St Louis. Dr Brownson is also affiliated with the Division of Public Health Sciences and Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center, Washington University School of Medicine, Washington University in St Louis, St Louis, Missouri.


Use of scientific evidence aids in ensuring that public health interventions have the best possible health and economic return on investment. We describe use of academic journals by state health department chronic disease prevention staff to find public health evidence. We surveyed more than 900 state health department staff from all states and the District of Columbia. Participants identified top journals or barriers to journal use. We used descriptive statistics to examine individual and aggregate state health department responses. On average, 45.7% of staff per state health department use journals. Common barriers to use included lack of time, lack of access, and expense. Strategies for increasing journal use are provided.

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