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Z Evid Fortbild Qual Gesundhwes. 2013;107(1):5-12. doi: 10.1016/j.zefq.2012.12.005. Epub 2013 Jan 15.

[Evidence-based medicine teaching activities in the German-speaking area: a survey].

[Article in German]

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Arbeitsgruppe Evidenzbasierte Medizin, Institut für Allgemeinmedizin, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt.



In the last 15 years Evidence-based Medicine (EbM) has gained much publicity in the German-speaking countries, but it is currently difficult to conclude how much the contents of EbM with its five steps according to Sackett have spread. Data from the year 2006 show that less than half of all medical faculties in Germany have introduced EbM into undergraduate teaching and that there is a shortage in EbM teaching activities for graduates in the German-speaking countries as well. The goal of this survey is to display the undergraduate and graduate Evidence-based Practice teaching activities in the German-speaking countries.


In a two-step survey, we first sent out a total of 551 letters to medical faculties, colleges, boards of physicians, the German Hospital Association, the associations of statutory health insurance physicians in Germany, the Medical Service of the German health insurances and asked the 30 participants of the 2011 EbM Academy as key informants in writing to give details about potential providers of EbM teaching activities. Via email we also consulted the members of the German-speaking colleges of general practitioners and family medicine and the German Network for EBM, course participants and contact persons of familiar teaching activities. In a second step a pre-tested detailed questionnaire with 36 items in the five categories framework and structure, participant characterisation, contents and didactics, evaluation and publication, and planning and publicity was sent to potential providers.


Altogether 185 teaching activities were identified, 80 % of which were located in Germany, 13 % in Austria and 7 % in Switzerland. In 82.6 % of the cases it was either a seminar, a course or a workshop with a median of 20 participants and an average duration of 17.9hours. The teaching activities mainly addressed students (63.2 %), physicians (37.8 %), caregivers and members of other health care professions with little or no prior knowledge of EbM. The first three steps of EbM (formulating clinical questions, search for and appraisal of the literature) were taught in more than 75 % of the teaching activities, whereas steps four and five (integration of results, evaluation) were only taught in 53.9 % and 33.3 % of the cases, respectively.


Compared to 2006, a remarkable increase in EbM teaching activities was observed in the German-speaking areas. These activities address different target audiences; the main content focus is on the first steps of EbM.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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