Influence of physician's education, drug information and medical-care settings on the quality of drugs prescribed

Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 2000 Dec;56(9-10):747-53. doi: 10.1007/s002280000217.


Objective: To identify factors associated with low prescription quality in primary care.

Methods: We carried out a cross-sectional study on a sample of 405 primary care physicians in Galicia (Northwest Spain). The following independent variables were collected through a mail questionnaire survey: physician's education and speciality, physician's perception of the quality of available drug information sources, type of practice and number of patients. We constructed multiple regression models using as dependent variables four indicators of the quality of drugs prescribed.

Results: The response rate was 75.2%. The quality of drugs prescribed was found to be associated with regulated physician training (P = 0.001), perceived credibility of information sources (P = 0.013) and environmental characteristics of the practice (reform model and number of patients' cards).

Conclusion: Study results suggest that in order to improve the quality of drugs prescribed, physician education and training must be improved and the role of pharmaceutical companies in physician training should be limited, emphasising more objective sources of information, such as therapeutic guidelines. Our results also underline the need to complete the reform of our primary care system and promote better relationships among physicians and between physicians and patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Data Collection
  • Demography
  • Drug Information Services
  • Drug Prescriptions / statistics & numerical data*
  • Physicians, Family / education*
  • Physicians, Family / statistics & numerical data*
  • Quality Indicators, Health Care
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Spain
  • Surveys and Questionnaires