Objective: To describe GPs' thoughts of prescribing medication and evidence-based knowledge (EBM) concerning drug therapy.
Design: Tape-recorded focus-group interviews transcribed verbatim and analysed using qualitative methods.
Setting: GPs from the south-eastern part of Västra Götaland, Sweden.
Subjects: A total of 16 GPs out of 178 from the south-eastern part of the region strategically chosen to represent urban and rural, male and female, long and short GP experience.
Methods: Transcripts were analysed using a descriptive qualitative method.
Results: The categories were: benefits, time and space, and expert knowledge. The benefit was a merge of positive elements, all aspects of the GPs' tasks. Time and space were limitations for GPs' tasks. EBM as a constituent of expert knowledge should be more customer adjusted to be able to be used in practice. Benefit was the most important category, existing in every decision-making situation for the GP. The core category was prompt and pragmatic benefit, which was the utmost benefit.
Conclusion: GPs' thoughts on evidence-based medicine and prescribing medication were highly related to reflecting on benefit and results. The interviews indicated that prompt and pragmatic benefit is important for comprehending their thoughts.