Influence of a vertical subject on research in biomedicine and activities of The Cochrane Collaboration branch on medical students' knowledge and attitudes toward evidence-based medicine

Croat Med J. 2012 Aug;53(4):367-73. doi: 10.3325/cmj.2012.53.367.

Abstract

Aim: To investigate whether the introduction of a vertical subject on research in biomedicine and founding of The Cochrane Collaboration branch at the University of Split School of Medicine influenced students' knowledge and attitudes toward evidence-based medicine (EBM), including the use of research literature.

Methods: We used a 26-item questionnaire on EBM knowledge and attitudes to survey 1232 medical students of all study years in 3 medical schools in Croatia (Split, Rijeka, Osijek) and the Croatian-speaking medical school in Mostar (Bosnia and Herzegovina).

Results: Students from the University of Split School of Medicine who had been exposed to the vertical subject on research in biomedicine and activities of The Cochrane Collaboration at the school had better knowledge and more positive attitudes toward EBM. In general, students rarely searched for evidence; 28% of students searched for evidence more than once a month and 96% of students used only textbooks in Croatian and teachers' handouts, even though 74% of students agreed that articles from scholarly journals were an important supplement for textbooks.

Conclusion: Building up an environment that fosters EBM may be beneficial for students' knowledge and attitudes toward EBM. Teachers should encourage and require using evidence during all the courses in medical school.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Biomedical Research / education*
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Croatia
  • Evidence-Based Medicine*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Students, Medical / psychology*