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Does integrated training in evidence-based medicine (EBM) in the general practice (GP) specialty training improve EBM behaviour in daily clinical practice? A cluster randomised controlled trial
  1. M F Kortekaas1,
  2. M E L Bartelink1,
  3. N P A Zuithoff1,
  4. G J M G van der Heijden2,
  5. N J de Wit1,
  6. A W Hoes1
  1. 1Julius Centre for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  2. 2Department of Social Dentistry, Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam, University of Amsterdam and VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to MF Kortekaas; M.F.Kortekaas{at}


Objectives Evidence-based medicine (EBM) is an important element in the general practice (GP) specialty training. Studies show that integrating EBM training into clinical practice brings larger benefits than stand-alone modules. However, these studies have neither been performed in GP nor assessed EBM behaviour of former trainees in daily clinical practice.

Setting GP specialty training in the Netherlands.

Participants All 82 third year GP trainees who started their final third year in 2011 were approached for inclusion, of whom 79 (96%) participated: 39 in the intervention group and 40 in the control group.

Intervention Integrated EBM training, in which EBM is embedded closely within the clinical context by joint assignments for the trainee and supervisor in daily practice, and teaching sessions based on dilemmas from actual patient consultations.

Comparison Stand-alone EBM training at the institute only.

Primary and secondary outcomes Our primary outcome was EBM behaviour, assessed by measuring guideline adherence (incorporating rational, motivated deviation) and information-seeking behaviour. Our secondary outcomes were EBM attitude and EBM knowledge. Data were acquired using logbooks and questionnaires, respectively. Analyses were performed using mixed models.

Results Logbook data were available from 76 (96%) of the participating trainees at baseline (7614 consultations), 60 (76%) at the end of the third year (T1, 4973 consultations) and 53 (67%) 1 year after graduation (T2, 3307 consultations). We found no significant differences in outcomes between the 2 groups, with relative risks for guideline adherence varying between 0.96 and 0.99 (95% CI 0.86 to 1.11) at T1, and 0.99 and 1.10 (95% CI 0.92 to 1.25) at T2, and for information-seeking behaviour between 0.97 and 1.16 (95% CI 0.70 to 1.91) and 0.90 and 1.10 (95% CI 0.70 to 1.32), respectively.

Conclusions Integrated EBM training compared with stand-alone EBM training does not improve EBM behaviour, attitude or knowledge of (future) GPs.

  • Evidence-based medicine
  • general practice
  • GP specialty training
  • EBM behaviour
  • guideline adherence
  • seeking behaviour

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