Impact of a drug bulletin on the knowledge, perception of drug utility, and prescribing behavior of physicians

DICP. 1990 Jan;24(1):87-93. doi: 10.1177/106002809002400116.


The impact of a drug bulletin was tested in a randomized controlled trial that included 186 family physicians. The length of the trial was six months. It was hypothesized that printed information, such as in drug bulletins, influences physician prescribing behavior by changing their knowledge of drug efficacy and adverse effects and their perceptions of drug utility. Therefore, the impact of a drug bulletin was evaluated on these domains of influence. Interview data were used to assess changes in knowledge, perceived drug utility, and stated prescribing. Health insurance funds' records were used to collect actual prescribing data. Information in the bulletin on the treatment of renal colic changed physicians' knowledge as well as perceived utility of drugs used for renal colic (p less than 0.05). Significant changes in stated prescribing were also found. On the other hand, advice in the same bulletin on the treatment of the irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) had no impact at all. It did not even improve the knowledge of the physicians about the drugs used for IBS. Apparently, the message about the treatment of IBS failed to gain the attention of the physicians. It is suggested that some messages are sufficiently transmitted through written information, and others that are seen as less relevant or too difficult to implement need more intensive strategies.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Colonic Diseases, Functional / drug therapy
  • Communication*
  • Drug Prescriptions*
  • Drug Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Kidney Diseases / drug therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands
  • Parasympatholytics
  • Pharmacists
  • Physicians


  • Parasympatholytics