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Doctors' knowledge about evidence based medicine terminology

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: (Published 20 April 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:929

General practitioners may not know the jargon, but could use the knowledge

  1. James D Woodcock, quality assurance editor,
  2. Sarah Greenley, information specialist,
  3. Stuart Barton, editor
  1. Clinical Evidence, BMJ Publishing Group, London WC1H 9JR

    Primary care p 950

    In a report published in this issue (p 950) Australian general practitioners rated themselves and were then tested on their evidence based medicine skills.1 The results are not encouraging. Fifty general practitioners in Australia rated their understanding of seven common terms from evidence based medicine from “It would not be helpful for me to understand this term” to “I understand this and could explain it to others.” On average, only 22% said they understood each term and could explain it to others. Worse still, in the subsequent structured interview only one general practitioner could provide a fully satisfactory explanation of any of the terms, and many of the explanations revealed considerable misunderstanding. The authors of the study argue that general practitioners need to understand these terms to practise evidence based medicine and that there is little good research on how this can be done. …

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