Familiarity of physicians, translational researchers, nurses, and other health professionals with evidence-based medicine terms and resources

Donatella Ugolini, Georgia Casanova, Marcello Ceppi, Francesca Mattei, Monica Neri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Evidence-based medicine (EBM) is a central theme in health practice and training. The understanding of EBM technical terms and the familiarity with EBM resources were surveyed in four different health professional categories. A self-administered questionnaire on the familiarity with EBM terminology and resources was proposed to 218 health professionals (physicians, translational researchers, nurses, and others) working in the oncology field. Relationships between variable and familiarity were examined: Pearson χ 2 or exact Fisher test was used for the categorical variables and one-way ANOVA for the continuous ones. The odds of familiarity for subjects, who had followed or not at least one EBM course, were estimated fitting a multiple logistic regression model adjusted for age, gender, and profession. All subjects completed the questionnaire. The majority of health personnel seemed to lack a sound knowledge of key EBM terms and sources. Physicians showed the highest knowledge of terms, nurses the lowest. Physicians also declared the largest familiarity with the widest variety of resources, followed by others and the researchers. The most popular resource was PLNG, the Italian Guideline System. People who attended at least one EBM course showed consistently higher percentages of knowledge, but the association was irrelevant for nurses. The main perceived barrier to implement EBM in practice was a lack of personal time. Familiarity of health professionals with EBM terminology and resources is still limited to the medical field and needs to be improved. Increasing education may be pivotal, even if different approaches should be developed for different professional categories.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)514-521
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cancer Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Attitude of health personnel
  • Education
  • Evidence-based medicine
  • Health care surveys
  • Questionnaires

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Oncology


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