Background: In the last few years, access to evidence based resources has increased in developing countries. However there is not a proportional increase in the qualitative and quantitative use of such resources.
Observation: As information professionals helping health professionals in a developing country, we noticed that many of them were not aware of important resources and their access rights. If they knew about them, they did not know about their key features. For instance they were not aware of MeSH and the Single Citation Matcher function in PubMed, or about the importance of forest plots in Cochrane reviews.
Our intervention: In the last three years we: delivered lectures about evidence based resources, informed about free access to the Cochrane Library and conducted training programs in the use of PubMed. This sensitization has resulted in requests for more such programs and also better utilization. Recently the Medical Council of India has also stressed the need for such programs in medical school programs.
Steps ahead: We are planning to work in partnership with medical schools to introduce 'Train the trainerá programs for the effective use of evidence based resources. Through these programs, we wish to create pools of trainers in every medical school. We would like to measure the impact of our programs and see if the awareness promotion and training makes a difference in the quantitative and qualitative use of EBM resources; especially the Cochrane Library, for which we have a country wide license.
Conclusions: We believe that if students learn to use evidence based resources correctly, it would become routine for them to use them when they become residents, medical teachers or practitioners. It is very important that if country-wide access to resources like the Cochrane Library is provided, it must be supplemented with awareness and proper training to translate to evidence based healthcare!