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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 1026-1031

Knowledge, attitude and perception toward evidence-based medicine among medical students in Saudi Arabia: Analytic cross-sectional study

Department of Family Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Hail, Hail, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Thamer Z Aldugieman
College of Medicine, University of Hail, PO Box 2440, Hail
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_129_18

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Objective: To study the knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions toward evidence-based medicine among medical students from different colleges across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Materials and Methods: An adapted evidence-based medicine (EBM) questionnaire was administered to second year to sixth year level of medical students and interns from different medical colleges across the Kingdom from November 2016 to May 2017. The questionnaire contains items that would describe the demographic characteristics of the respondents: 24 multiple-choice questions and one open-ended question. Questions were randomly arranged to refrain from respondents' bias but are identified to determine the knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions of the respondents toward evidence-based medicine (EBP). Data were analyzed statistically using descriptive statistics. Results: This study surveyed 344 medical students from different universities in Saudi Arabia. The students' knowledge and attitude to EBM were low: 80.8% answered incorrectly on the components of EBM; 40.4% knew that the strongest evidence to EBP is systematic review, and 95% of the respondents were not aware of the Cochrane Library (CL). Nearly 70% did not attend EBP workshops, 18% read journals, and 85.8% use the Internet to support clinical decisions. Only 50% are interested of knowing and using CL, 69.5% would evaluate the veracity of evidence when it contradicts clinical judgment, 24.4% will follow the evidence, and 6.1% will discard the evidence favoring their clinical judgment. No journal subscription, having no time, and difficulty in comprehension were the greatest reported barriers with a relative weight of 29.1%, 25%, and 15.7%, respectively; 68.8% claimed that EBP is not applicable to their culture, and 87.1% believed that their patients are willing to participate in clinical decision-making but perceived a low participation in clinical trials. Conclusion: The findings described the current status of the level of awareness and use of EBM among the medical students. This calls for a well-structured incorporation of the pedagogy into the undergraduate curriculum as a major competency standard considering culture and values that are well-preserved in the Kingdom. The outcomes of its integration will impact not only the medical and allied-medical professions but also the public health in general.

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