Knowledge, Perception and Attitude of Medical Students in KAAU Toward Evidence Based Medicine 2011

Jehad Fouad Al-Hasan

JPFCM, Jeddah

Background: Teaching the principles of EBM to medical students increases knowledge, improves critical appraisal skills and attitudes in both the undergraduate and postgraduate setting.

Objectives:  To determine knowledge level, perception and attitude towards evidence based medicine among medical students in the final year in KAAU as well as to define their educational needs about Evidence Based Medicine.

Subjects and methods: A cross-sectional study included 6th year medical students, King Abdul Aziz University, Jeddah. Stratified random sampling technique with proportional allocation according to gender was applied. Self administered questionnaire was applied. It includes the following parts: personal data (age and sex), attitudes of towards EBM, familiarity and use of electronic EBM sources, knowledge of methodological terminology used in EBM papers and opinion about self-perceived barrier to implement EBM in clinical practice. A minority of 6th year medical students (ranged between 2.5% for the term systematic review and 12.2% for the term number needed to treat) believed that knowing these terms don’t help them.

Results: Of the 139 participated 6th year medical students, 50.4% were males. The age range of the participants was 23 to 28 and the mean age was 24.2 (SD=0.8) years. The mean score of the attitude towards EBM was 33.1 out of 45 (SD=2.4) with a range of 29 to 40. A minority of 6th year medical students (ranged between 2.5% for the term systematic review and 12.2% for the term number needed to treat) believed that knowing these terms don’t help them. Age and gender were not significantly associated with knowledge and attitude towards EBM. Pubmed/Medline was the most familiar resource where more than half of them (52.5%) have usually use it. the commonly barriers for the use of EBM agreed by 6th year medical students were insufficiency of basic EBM skill (74.1%), Lack of time to access EBM sources (68.3%).

Conclusion: Senior medical students at KAAU in Jeddah do not have sufficient knowledge and skills regarding EBM although they have positive attitude. Overall, it does seem that the challenge is not favourability of EBM but is more to develop strategies that will influence under-graduated medical students’ ability to interpret and use the informational resources.

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