Introduction: Although evidence-based practice (EBP) has been widely investigated, few studies compare physicians and nurses on performance.
Methods: A structured questionnaire survey was used to investigate EBP among physicians and nurses in 61 regional hospitals of Taiwan. Valid postal questionnaires were collected from 605 physicians and 551 nurses during February to May 2007.
Results: Physicians were more aware of EBP than nurses. Although both groups had high recognition of belief in and favorable attitudes toward EBP, their knowledge of and skill in EBP were relatively low. When compared with nurses, physicians were more willing to support the promotion of EBP implementations in clinical services. Physicians' knowledge and skills regarding the application of EBP principles were greater than nurses. Furthermore, physicians more often accessed the on-line evidence-retrieval databases, including the Cochrane Library. The most commonly ranked barriers to EBP applications for both groups included lack of designated personnel, lack of convenient kits, limited basic knowledge of EBP, and time. In general, nurses generated more barriers than physicians.
Discussion: There were significant discrepancies between physicians and nurses in their awareness of, attitude toward, knowledge of, skill in, behavior toward, and barriers regarding EBP. In implementing EBP, strategies to overcome barriers and provide on-line evidence-retrieval systems should differ for physicians and nurses.