Effectiveness of a short-course in improving knowledge and skills on evidence-based practice

BMC Fam Pract. 2011 Jun 30;12:64. doi: 10.1186/1471-2296-12-64.


Background: To assess the effectiveness (change in knowledge and skills measured by the Fresno test) of a short course in Evidence Based Practice (EBP) carried out in a group of family medicine residents

Methods: Before-after study. Participants' were 152 Family Medicine residents in their second year of the training programme. Settings were Primary Care Teaching Units in Catalonia. Intervention was comprised of a four half-day training course designed to develop the knowledge and skills required to practice evidence-based care. The main outcome measure was change in EBP knowledge and skills, measured using the Spanish version of the Fresno test (score range, 0-212)

Results: The mean difference between pre-test and post-test was 47.7, a statistically significant result with 95% CI of 42.8-52.5 (p < 0.0001). An important improvement was observed in the questions related to calculations such as sensitivity, specificity, the absolute risk reduction or the number needed to treat. A more modest increase was found in the residents' knowledge and skills in finding the best clinical evidence, and appraising the validity and applicability of an article. Finally, a weak and non-statistically significant improvement was found in formulating a clinical question.

Conclusions: The study provides evidence for responsiveness to changes in knowledge and skills in EBP after an educational intervention.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / education*
  • Family Practice / education*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Male