Socio-demographic characteristics of the study subjects
Three hundred twenty self-administered questionnaires were distributed among the study participants. Of the total distributed questionnaires, 311 (97.0%) were completed and returned back for analyses. Among those respondents, 189 (61.0%) were females. The majority of the respondents (67.0%) were in the age group of 21–30 years (Table 1). More than half of the respondents, 199 (64.0%) have a first degree and above in educational status. By profession, 181 (58.0%) were nurses, 37 (12.0%) were medical laboratory personnel, 29 (10.0%) were pharmacy personnel, 28 (9.0%) were general practitioners, 16 (5.0%) were health officers and the rest 19 (6.0%) were health workers from other categories (Table 1).
A large number of respondents (76.0%) have more than five years of professional working experience. Concerning monthly income, 199 (64.0%), 87 (28.0%) and 25 (8.0%) of the respondents have greater than 2000, between and including 1500–2000 and below 1500 Ethiopian Birr respectively (Table 1).
More than half, 165 (53.0%) of the respondents were not satisfied with their job for various reasons. The major causes for their job dissatisfaction were lack of attractive salary 75 (43.0%), poor opportunities for further education 52 (30.0%), lack of performance reward or recognition 28 (16.0%) and 20 (11.0%) were due to both poor salary and absence of proper recognition from their organization (Table 1).
Motivation, willingness and practices of health professionals to share knowledge
In the case of respondents’ initiation level, 167(54.0%) and144 (46.0%) of the respondents had low and high initiation levels to share their knowledge with their colleagues (Table 2). There were ten questions prepared to assess the initiation level to share knowledge. Those who answered ≥7 questions were considered highly initiated to share their knowledge and experiences. Two hundred nineteen (70.0%) of the respondents have an interest to share their knowledge, experience and skills with their colleagues. On the other hand, 206 (66.0%) of the respondents requested their colleagues to get additional information (Table 2).
Nearly half, 152 (49.0%) of the study participants shared health information (disease information, patient diagnosis and management) and professional experience with their colleagues when needed.
Major health information sources for those who had experience in information sharing were workshops (21.0%), trainings (29.0%), books (39.0%) and guidelines (11.0%). The majority, 219 (70.0%) of the respondents stated that they are willing to share their knowledge and experience with their colleagues. The presence of supportive leader ship and resource allocation for knowledge sharing was reported from 101 (32.0%) and 109 (35.0%) respectively (Table 2).
The majority (71.0%) of the respondents disagreed on the presence of adequate health information resources (books, workshops, trainings, peer education, library, and seminars) within and around their organization. About 54.0% of all study participants agreed that there are no periodic meetings for knowledge sharing within their hospital. About 71.0% of the respondents reported the absence of adequate and updated HIRs in the study area. The absence of information communication technologies (ICTs) within the hospitals was reported from about 243 (78.0%) of the respondents (Table 2).
Information sharing mechanisms
Nearly half (49.0%) of the respondents used various types of mechanisms to share their knowledge and experiences with their colleagues. Some of them were face-to-face, manuals, patient medical record system, reports, phone and internet. In the case of face to face, 67 (44.0%), 53 (35.0%), 20 (13.0%) and 12 (8.0%) of the respondents used it frequently, sometimes, rarely and never to share their knowledge and experience respectively. About 72 (47.0%), 45 (30.0%), and 25 (16.0%) of the respondents used manuals and patient medical records frequently, sometimes and rarely to share information respectively (Figure 2).Only about 53 (35.0%) and 51 (34.0%) of health professionals used their phones to share information frequently and sometimes. The least frequently used knowledge-sharing medium in the study area was the internet. It was accessed by only 21 (14.0%) of the respondents frequently, 28 (18.0%) sometimes and 30 (20.0%) rarely (Figure 2).
Factors affecting knowledge sharing
Factors affecting knowledge sharing practices of health professionals were assessed in three dimensions: individual, organizational and technological related variables. Trust among staffs, awareness, knowledge level, personal initiation, fear of loss of personal competitiveness, intrinsic and extrinsic motivation were identified factors under the individual dimensions (Table 3).
Supportive leadership, resource allocation, access of information sources, presence of periodic meetings and infrastructure were commonly identified organizational factors (Table 2). More than half, 165 (53.0%), of the respondents reported that trust among colleagues is important for knowledge and information sharing practices. About 202 (65.0%) of the respondents mentioned that knowledge sharing does not reduce the competitiveness of individuals who share their knowledge and experiences. Around 112 (36%) of the respondents perceived that knowledge and experience sharing is time consuming and makes them busy. The majority, 80% and 62% of the respondents reported that extrinsic and intrinsic motivation can affect the knowledge and experience sharing practices (Table 3).
Bivariate and multivariate analysis on determinants of knowledge sharing practices of health professionals
In the multivariate logistic regression analysis, work experience, extrinsic motivation, intrinsic motivation, awareness, supportive leader ship, resource allocation, and willingness to share knowledge were positively associated with knowledge and experience sharing practices of health professionals in the study area (Table 4).
Respondents having work experience of ≤10 years shared their knowledge and experience to their colleagues 3.59 [1.96-6.63] times more often than those with a working experience of >10 years. The presence of HIRs can enhance knowledge and experience sharing by 2.07 [1.22-3.51] times compared with HIRs shortage. Respondents who have extrinsic and intrinsic motivation performed knowledge sharing 2.61[1.55-4.41] and 2.51 [1.33-4.77] times more often than their counter parts respectively. Respondents who have supportive leader ship from their hospitals can share their knowledge 2.90 [1.71-4.91] times more often to their colleagues more than those who do not have a supportive leadership. Respondents who have awareness on knowledge sharing shared their knowledge 4.09 [2.32-7.26] times more compared with their counter parts (Table 4).