Changing physician prescribing behaviour

Can J Clin Pharmacol. 2006 Winter;13(1):e81-4. Epub 2006 Feb 1.


Didactic approaches to educating physicians and/or other health professionals do not produce changes in learner behaviour. Similarly, printed materials and practice guidelines have not been shown to change prescribing behaviour. Evidence-based educational approaches that do have an impact on provider behaviour include: teaching aimed at identified learning needs; interactive educational activities; sequenced and multifaceted interventions; enabling tools such as patient education programs, flow charts, and reminders; educational outreach or academic detailing; and audit and feedback to prescribers. Dr. Jean Gray reflects over the past 25 years on how there has been a transformation in the types of activities employed to improve prescribing practices in Nova Scotia. The evolution of Continuing Medical Education (CME) has resulted in the creation of the Drug Evaluation Alliance of Nova Scotia (DEANS) program, which is one exemplar of an evidence-based educational approach to improving physician prescribing in that province. Key words: Evidence-based, education, prescribing.

Publication types

  • Lecture

MeSH terms

  • Drug Prescriptions*
  • Drug Utilization
  • Education, Medical, Continuing* / methods
  • Education, Medical, Continuing* / trends
  • Humans
  • Nova Scotia
  • Pharmacology, Clinical / education*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Teaching