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Eval Health Prof. 2008 Mar;31(1):22-42. doi: 10.1177/0163278707311870. Epub 2008 Feb 1.

When is knowledge ripe for primary care? An exploratory study on the meaning of evidence.

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University of Montréal, Canada.


The objectives of this study were to explore the meaning of scientific evidence as it is understood by primary care physicians. Individual interviews were conducted with actors chosen for their roles in the production and use of knowledge: 22 family physicians, 13 specialist physicians, and 6 researchers. Two situations served as points of reference for these discussions: screening for genetic breast cancer and treatment of hypertension. The results suggest that there may be a misunderstanding between the producers of knowledge and primary care practitioners with respect to what constitutes "evidence"--knowledge ready for integration into the clinical practice of primary care. These potential differences go beyond the issues of how information is disseminated. Rather, many of the questions raised by family physicians concern how knowledge is developed. In the interests of fostering better dissemination of new knowledge and encouraging its adoption, new links should be created between knowledge "producers" and potential users.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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