Assessing the effect of virtual education on information literacy competency for evidence-based practice among the undergraduate nursing students

Maryam Shamsaee, Parvin Mangolian shahrbabaki, Leila Ahmadian, Jamileh Farokhzadian, Farhad Fatehi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Information literacy competency is one of the requirements to implement Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) in nursing. It is necessary to pay attention to curricular development and use new educational methods such as virtual education to strengthen information literacy competency in nursing students. Given the scarcity of the studies on the effectiveness of virtual education in nursing, particularly in Iran, and the positive university atmosphere regarding the use of virtual education, this study investigated the effect of virtual education on the undergraduate nursing students’ information literacy competency for EBP. Methods: This interventional study was performed with two groups of intervention and control and a pretest and posttest design. Seventy-nine nursing students were selected and assigned to the intervention or control groups by random sampling. Virtual education of the information literacy was uploaded on a website in the form of six modules delivered in four weeks. Questionnaires of demographic information and information literacy for EBP were used to collect data before and one month after the virtual education. Results: The results showed no significant difference between the control and intervention groups in all dimensions of information literacy competency in the pre-test stage. In the post-test, the virtual education improved dimensions of information seeking skills (t = 3.14, p = 0.002) and knowledge about search operators (t = 39.84, p = 0.001) in the intervention groups compared with the control group. The virtual education did not have any significant effect on the use of different information resources and development of search strategy with assessing the frequency of selecting the most appropriate search statement in the intervention group. Conclusion: Virtual education had a significant effect on information seeking skills and knowledge about search operators in nursing students. Nurse educators can benefit from our experiences in designing this method for the use of virtual education programs in nursing schools. Given the lack of effectiveness of this program in using different information resources and development of search strategy, nurse educators are recommended to train information literacy for EBP by integrating several approaches such as virtual (online and offline) and face-to-face education.

Original languageEnglish
Article number48
Number of pages11
JournalBMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 9 Feb 2021


  • Electronic-learning
  • Evidence-based nursing
  • Information literacy
  • Nursing students
  • Virtual learning

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