Evidence-based practice by pharmacists: utilization and barriers

Ann Pharmacother. 2005 Jul-Aug;39(7-8):1214-9. doi: 10.1345/aph.1E663. Epub 2005 Jun 14.


Background: Evidence-based medicine (EBM) is the use of the current best evidence from research to make practice and policy decisions. Little is known regarding the attitudes of pharmacists toward EBM.

Objective: To determine the attitudes of pharmacists toward EBM, the extent that pharmacists use evidence to make decisions, and identify barriers to the use of evidence.

Methods: A self-administered questionnaire was mailed to 2000 randomly selected Illinois licensed pharmacists. The questionnaire assessed the pharmacists' attitudes toward EBM, the extent to which recommendations are based on primary and tertiary literature, and perceived barriers to the use of EBM.

Results: Completed responses were received from 323 pharmacists (17.2% response rate). Overall, respondents had positive attitudes toward EBM (58% positive, 32% somewhat positive). Respondents thought research findings were useful (42%) or very useful (42%) to daily practice. Nearly one-half (49.8%) of respondents had conducted a primary literature search within the past year. Hospital pharmacists and pharmacists in other practice settings were more likely than community pharmacists to conduct a literature search in the past year (75%, 61%, and 30%, respectively; p < 0.001). Although 86% of respondents reported having Internet access at home, only 42% of all respondents identified that they had PubMed access at home. Common barriers to the use of EBM include lack of time (45%), physician attitudes toward pharmacist recommendations (19%), and access to resources (11%).

Conclusions: Pharmacist respondents have positive attitudes toward EBM and the application of research findings to practice.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Evidence-Based Medicine*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Illinois
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / administration & dosage
  • Pharmacists*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Pharmaceutical Preparations