Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
BMC Fam Pract. 2003 May 9;4:6. Epub 2003 May 9.

Evidence-based medicine in primary care: qualitative study of family physicians.

Author information

  • 1Primary Care Research Unit, Sunnybrook & Women's College Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, ON M4N 3M5 Canada. shawn.tracy@sw.ca

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The objectives of this study were: a) to examine physician attitudes to and experience of the practice of evidence-based medicine (EBM) in primary care; b) to investigate the influence of patient preferences on clinical decision-making; and c) to explore the role of intuition in family practice.

METHOD:

Qualitative analysis of semi-structured interviews of 15 family physicians purposively selected from respondents to a national survey on EBM mailed to a random sample of Canadian family physicians.

RESULTS:

Participants mainly welcomed the promotion of EBM in the primary care setting. A significant number of barriers and limitations to the implementation of EBM were identified. EBM is perceived by some physicians as a devaluation of the 'art of medicine' and a threat to their professional/clinical autonomy. Issues regarding the trustworthiness and credibility of evidence were of great concern, especially with respect to the influence of the pharmaceutical industry. Attempts to become more evidence-based often result in the experience of conflicts. Patient factors exert a powerful influence on clinical decision-making and can serve as trumps to research evidence. A widespread belief that intuition plays a vital role in primary care reinforced views that research evidence must be considered alongside other factors such as patient preferences and the clinical judgement and experience of the physician.

DISCUSSION:

Primary care physicians are increasingly keen to consider research evidence in clinical decision-making, but there are significant concerns about the current model of EBM. Our findings support the proposed revisions to EBM wherein greater emphasis is placed on clinical expertise and patient preferences, both of which remain powerful influences on physician behaviour.

PMID:
12740025
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC165430
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for BioMed Central Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk