Background: Evidence-based medicine (EBM) has been identified as a core competence to help physicians improve healthcare quality. One of the important steps to implement EBM is to acquire evidence-based information.
Objectives: EBM curriculum was introduced for third-year undergraduate medical students. The current study aimed to determine whether education can enhance their usage of evidence-based online databases.
Methods: A structured questionnaire survey was conducted for third-year medical students who received medical curriculum of EBM in 2013. Students completed a baseline questionnaire survey prior to the beginning of curriculum and finished the same questionnaire right after the end of curriculum. Pair-sample t test was used to compare the values of means between the pre- and post-curriculum questionnaires.
Results: After the curriculum, students were more likely to access the evidence-based retrieval databases – including two Chinese databases and eight English databases. Specifically, medical students more often accessed the National Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations in Taiwan (P value 0.046), the Chinese Electronic Periodical Service (P value 0.013), the Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature (P value < 0.001), the Cochrane Library (P value < 0.001), MD Consult/ Clinical Key (P value < 0.001), MEDLINE/PubMed (P value < 0.001), ProQuest (P value < 0.001), UpToDate (P value < 0.001), Micromedex (P value 0.011), and DynaMed (P value 0.037). In contrast, the usage of Web portals was not increased (P value 0.380). The common motivations to access the online databases were self-learning and class assignment.
Conclusions: The medical curriculum of EBM was helpful for accelerating the utilization of online evidence-based retrieval databases. The data have clinical implications for medical educators to disseminate the implementation of EBM.