GPs' thoughts on prescribing medication and evidence-based knowledge: the benefit aspect is a strong motivator. A descriptive focus group study

Scand J Prim Health Care. 2007 Jun;25(2):98-104. doi: 10.1080/02813430701192371.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Decision Making
  • Drug Information Services
  • Drug Prescriptions*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Family Practice*
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Physicians, Family / psychology
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'*
  • Sweden