Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Taking Care of Business

Now that my client, Andrea is more than satisfied with the information I have provided, it's time to fulfill the requirements for the term project. This task will be done in stages, but for now, I will focus on the following sections:

1. Selection and characteristics of the user.
2. User's question.
3. Mode of and results from interview.
4. User model and changes in user model as the search progresses.

Selection and characteristics of the user

Selecting Andrea as my user was based on the facts that she is a recent graduate in her field of study, and new to the practice of drug and alcohol counseling, specifically in the area of dual-diagnosis. I felt that if I could help her develop her knowledge base in specific techniques, it would help her career. Andrea is an especially hard-working individual with a great deal of dedication to her field and continuing education. When I asked if she would be willing to participate in this project her reply was nothing short of enthusiastic. She welcomes new knowledge and is genuinely interested in the search process.

User's question

I first approached Andrea via email to ask if she would be interested in participating in the project. After she enthusiastically agreed, I spoke to her on the phone to clarify the scope of the project and discover what her topic would be. She introduced me to a technique she was practicing called "motivational interviewing". She told me that she wanted to know more about it; specifically, Andrea wanted to know how it was being applied to clients/patients with dual diagnoses (i.e., how professionals in the field use or have used motivational interviewing to help addicts and alcoholics who live with additional psychiatric diagnoses such as depression to cut down and eventually stop abusing substances).

Looking back on this contact on the project, I probably would have used the first opportunity to ask more questions, however, I approached this project early in the semester and had not yet read the reference interview questions in Bell's Librarian's Guide to Online Searching (2006, pp. 201-211).

Mode of and results from interview

Because the above was a very cursory discussion about the topic, for this purpose, I will not consider it the interview. Later, after a preliminary search on the topic to expand my knowledge on it, I was able to email Andrea the following questions:

1. Are there any other search terms you think I should try (or ones you have used)?
2. Have you already tried searching for this? If so, what worked and what didn't?
3. Are there any authors or names that you recommend I search?
4. How recent does the information need to be?
5. How will this information be used?
6. Are there any constraints on sources [for example, does it need to be only in English, can the sources be in any format (text files, pdfs, audio, video, etc)]

Andrea let me know that we should search from 2000 forward, that she would be using the information to improve her practice of the motivational interviewing technique at her place of work, and that documents need only be in English (regarding constraints). She had not yet tried searching on the topic.

After my preliminary search, Andrea informed me that I had discovered a resource from two of the top researchers in the field, William Miller and Stephen Rollnick. Additionally, she recommended two other search terms: payoff matrix and stages of change.

Finding such a valuable resource from Andrea provided searching confidence and a feeling of positive reinforcement. Her feedback was very encouraging and rewarding. It was good to find such a useful resource from the beginning because it provided both additional terms and citations on which to search if Andrea needed further information on topics not covered by the search later.

User model and changes in user model as the search progresses

The user modeling really came into play when I started searching in the Rutgers Libraries Indexes and Databases. I thought about the fields in which motivational interviewing and drug abuse counseling would fall, then searched the databases within those fields. I also thought about the clients Andrea might encounter, specifically adolescents and younger people as well as larger groups (e.g., women, retirees).

The Center of Alcohol Studies Library on Rutgers' Busch campus yielded great search results on just the term "motivational interviewing". As you can see from this post, the two terms Andrea suggested yielded mixed results. "states of change" was an important term in that it led me to search specifically in studies of alcoholism treatment, rather than drug abuse treatment in general. It appears that the phrase is used more widely in the former rather than the latter. Additionally, it was easier to find more materials to consider when searching on alcoholism than on drug abuse. It appears that motivational interviewing is may be more widely used in treating alcoholism than in drug abuse.

Overall, the user model didn't change that much over the life of the search because Andrea was so delighted with the information I had provided by using the three primary search terms ("motivational interviewing", "payoff matrix", and "states of change".) Because Andrea selected a topic so rich in recent research, we were rewarded early with useful information within articles, handbooks, and web sites.

For next time...

In the next blog post, I will be touching on the following topics:

1. Construction and variations in search strategies and tactics.
2. Discussion of changes and reasons for these changes.
3. Consideration of modes of presentation of results.
4. User evaluation.
5. Resulting changes.


Bell, S. (2006). Librarian’s Guide to Online Searching. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for leaving a comment!