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ANZ J Surg. 2007 Apr;77(4):231-6.

Surgeons' attitudes towards and usage of evidence-based medicine in surgical practice: a pilot study.

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Department of Surgery, Monash Medical Centre and School of Rural Health, Monash University, Moe, Victoria, Australia.



Within surgery the debate about the place of evidence-based medicine (EBM) has focused on the nature and compatibility of EBM with surgical practice with an inevitable polarization of opinion. However, EBM techniques are being embedded into undergraduate medical curricula and surgical training programs across Australia. The Monash University Department of Surgery at Monash Medical Centre implemented a pilot study to explore current knowledge, attitudes and behaviours of practising surgeons towards EBM techniques.


Descriptive survey of surgeons based in a tertiary care environment.


The results from the surgeons surveyed suggest that (i) they believe that EBM marginalizes patient involvement in decision-making; (ii) they believe that EBM-generated knowledge is useful and is commonly used in daily clinical decision-making--however, not using EBM does not adversely affect their daily clinical decision-making; (iii) they have high confidence in their own judgement compared with low confidence in clinical practice guidelines and other sources of evidence; and (iv) journal summaries of the latest research related to a subject are the most useful resources in clinical practice above clinical practice guidelines.


The importance of incorporating concepts of the 'culture' of surgery as an important factor in understanding and developing new ways to mobilize Australian surgeons to adopt EBM into their practice is discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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