Educational strategies to enhance EBM teaching and learning in the workplace: A focus group study

Lisanne Welink, Esther De Groot, Roger Damoiseaux, Marie Louise Bartelink*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objectives: This study aimed to gather and synthesise educational strategies that can improve teaching and learning of evidence-based medicine (EBM) in the workplace, and make them concrete by listing ideas for implementing these strategies. Insight into current workplace-based EBM teaching and learning in general practice was the starting point to generate these strategies and ideas. Design: Exploratory, qualitative focus group study, applying the consensus method of the nominal group technique. Setting: Postgraduate medical education; general practitioner (GP) specialty training at University Medical Centre Utrecht, the Netherlands Participants: 33 GPs and 17 GP trainees, divided in four focus groups. Using opportunistic sampling, participants were selected from the GP workplace because of their role as supervisor or trainee. Main outcomes: An overview of educational strategies and ideas on how to implement these strategies in the workplace, followed by the participants' global ranking of the most useful ideas. Results: The supervisors and trainees generated a list of educational improvement strategies that can be applied in learning conversations, while observing each other's consultations, and in (multidisciplinary) learning opportunities in the workplace. Table 1 presents the educational strategies and suggestions for implementing them. Ideas regarded as most useful include taking turns to conduct consultations and observing the other, holding a structured, in-depth discussion after observation, preparing and discussing articles found in relevant journals and on-the-spot searching for relevant evidence during learning conversations. Conclusions: Participants provided an extensive list of educational strategies and ideas on how to implement EBM learning in daily practice. As a great deal of GP training takes place in clinical practice, supervisors and trainees could apply the suggested ideas to enhance EBM teaching and learning in the workplace.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-252
Number of pages5
JournalBMJ Evidence-Based Medicine
Issue number5
Early online date29 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2021


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