Background: The interest in evidence based medicine (EBM) is growing in developing countries. But early introduction of medical students to EBM principles is in short time courses which their efficacy is controversial.
Objectives: To develop and implement a short course on evidence-based critical appraisal and determine its effectiveness in improving residentsÂ skills and attitude.
Methods: Three parallel questionnaires consisted of a clinical scenario for evaluating the ability in formulating a searchable question and a related abstract which should be appraised using a checklist and used for calculating some useful statistics have been developed. The test-retest reliability, parallel forms reliability and discriminative value of questions will be assessed in a group of medical students and EBM experts. The efficacy of two day workshops will be assessed in a cross-over randomized controlled trial. Thirty medicine residents with no previous contact with EBM topics will be included in each arm. After the first evaluation the first workshop will be held for one arm and they will be assessed after workshop and three months later at the end of study to investigate the sustainability of effects. The assessments will consist of the participantsÂ skills to formulate a structured question, to appraise an article about therapy, to calculate number needed to treat using the article data and their attitude toward evidence based medicine. Another workshop will be held for second arm three months after the first evaluation and they will be assessed before and after the second workshop to examine their maturation and intervention effects.
Results: We anticipate we will be able to investigate the effects of a short introductory workshop on the attitude and skills of postgraduate medical students and the durability of its effects. In addition a simple critical appraisal skills assessment tool will be validated.