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Effectiveness of a brief course in evidence-based medicine for knowledge of the best sources of information in health care among health care workers: first results of the beginning of evidence-based medicine in the Amazonian region

Date and Location




Monday 23 September 2013 - 10:30 - 12:00


Presenting author and contact person

Presenting author

Regis Bruni Andriolo

Contact person

Regis Bruni Andriolo
Abstract text
Introduction: The frequent absence of scientific rigor in expert opinions, textbooks, and the majority of scientific meetings limits effective, safe, and efficient decision making in public and private health care services. Objectives: To evaluate the effectiveness of a brief course in Evidence-Based Medicine that informs health care workers about the best sources of information to use when making decisions about health care. Methods: Sixty health care workers were evaluated before and after attending a four-hour course in Evidence-Based Medicine at a teaching primary care health service in the Amazonian Region (Belém City, Pará State, Brazil). A multiple-choice question about the sources of information to use in decision making in health care was delivered before and five months after the course. The available alternatives were “congress”, “textbooks”, “expert opinions”, “Google”, and “other sources of information” (an open-ended alternative). Because of the absence of personal identification in the questionnaires, we used the qui-square test for independent samples. Results: The participants were physiotherapists (23.3%), undergraduate students from different health courses (21.7%), occupational therapists (15%), physicians (5%), and other health professionals and administrative team members (35%). Only 51/60 participants provided information five months after the course. At that time, the percentage of answers that referenced “congress” as a reliable source of health care information was reduced from 28.3% to 11.7% (p=0.04), the choice of “text books” and “expert opinions” were reduced but without statistical significance from 75% to 58.8% (p=0.07), and 8.3% to 3.9% (p=0.35), respectively (Figure 1). No participant referred evidence-based-guidelines, systematic reviews or randomized controlled trials as reliable sources of information when making health care decisions. Conclusions: According to our results, educational strategies on Evidence-Based Medicine should be continuously offered to health care workers, especially those in low-income regions around the world, to achieve more effective, efficient, and safer health service.