BACKGROUND: Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM) integrates best available evidence from literature and patients' values, which then informs clinical decision making. However, there is a lack of validated instruments to assess the knowledge, practice and barriers of primary care physicians in the implementation of EBM. This study aimed to develop and validate an Evidence-Based Medicine Questionnaire (EBMQ) in Malaysia.
METHODS: The EBMQ was developed based on a qualitative study, literature review and an expert panel. Face and content validity was verified by the expert panel and piloted among 10 participants. Primary care physicians with or without EBM training who could understand English were recruited from December 2015 to January 2016. The EBMQ was administered at baseline and two weeks later. A higher score indicates better knowledge, better practice of EBM and less barriers towards the implementation of EBM. We hypothesized that the EBMQ would have three domains: knowledge, practice and barriers.
RESULTS: The final version of the EBMQ consists of 80 items: 62 items were measured on a nominal scale, 22 items were measured on a 5 point Likert-scale. Flesch reading ease was 61.2. A total of 343 participants were approached; of whom 320 agreed to participate (response rate = 93.2%). Factor analysis revealed that the EBMQ had eight domains after 13 items were removed: "EBM websites", "evidence-based journals", "types of studies", "terms related to EBM", "practice", "access", "patient preferences" and "support". Cronbach alpha for the overall EBMQ was 0.909, whilst the Cronbach alpha for the individual domain ranged from 0.657-0.940. The EBMQ was able to discriminate between doctors with and without EBM training for 24 out of 42 items. At test-retest, kappa values ranged from 0.155 to 0.620.
CONCLUSIONS: The EBMQ was found to be a valid and reliable instrument to assess the knowledge, practice and barriers towards the implementation of EBM among primary care physicians in Malaysia.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.