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Saudi Med J. 2008 Jan;29(1):107-15.

Information-seeking behaviors and attitudes of physicians toward drug information centers in Saudi Arabia.

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Department of Clinical Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, King Saud University, PO Box 2457, Riyadh 11451, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.



To assess the drug information-seeking behavior of physicians in Saudi Arabia and the information resources they were using to obtain information about new drugs. The physicians' awareness of the existence of drug information centers (DICs) and their attitudes toward these centers were also investigated. Physicians were also surveyed concerning their future information needs.


The study was conducted between September 2002 and June 2003. A questionnaire was sent to 2,000 registered physicians. Data were collected on demographics, drug information resources currently used by physicians, attitudes towards DICs and future information needs.


Response rate was 65.9%. Only 70% of the physicians were aware of the existence of DICs in KSA and 33.9% have used this service before with request rate of 0.3/month during the last 6 months prior to survey. Physicians relied heavily on books (79%), periodicals (59.2%), symposia (55.1%) and pharmacists (35.3%). Physicians searched for information 17.5 times during the last 6 months and only 57.3% were using computers and 40% had no access to the Internet at work.


Physicians in KSA had passive attitudes toward DICs. These centers are under-utilized by health care professionals, in part due to the lack of awareness of their existence by physicians. Drug newsletters and continuing education programs in information-retrieval and evaluation based on evidence-based medicine techniques to promote DIC's services should be instituted.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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