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Med Educ. 1999 Dec;33(12):907-14.

Audit encourages an evidence-based approach to medical practice.

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Department of General Practice, University of Glasgow, 4 Lancaster Crescent, Glasgow G12 0RR, UK.



This study was designed in order to identify any changes taking place in students' ability to incorporate research evidence into clinical practice after the introduction of an evidence-based medicine session into their audit teaching.


We chose to look at the references cited in students' audit projects as a way of making a retrospective assessment of their ability to use evidence. Each of a sample of 221 projects was analysed for the number and accuracy of references, the phase of the audit cycle in which the references were cited, the topic chosen and the use of computers. A smaller sample were assessed for quality.


The Department of General Practice at Glasgow University.


Final-year medical students.


We found that there was an increase in quality and quantity of citation of references by the students over a 3-year period which corresponded with changes in teaching methods.


It is possible that this increase in the quantity and quality of reference citation by final-year students was in response to a change in the content of teaching sessions, but there may be other reasons for this. The experience of researching and carrying out the projects has given students first-hand experience of the techniques of evidence-based medicine. Requiring students to state their information sources and include a copy of the abstracts from cited papers would assist further studies of this kind.

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