How can we teach EBM in clinical practice? An analysis of barriers to implementation of on-the-job EBM teaching and learning

Katrien Oude Rengerink, Shakila Thangaratinam, Gemma Barnfield, Katja Suter, Andrea R Horvath, Jacek Walczak, Anna Wełmińska, Susanne Weinbrenner, Berit Meyerrose, Theodoros N Arvanitis, Rita Onody, Gianni Zanrei, Regina Kunz, Chantal Arditi, Bernard Burnand, Harry Gee, Khalid S Khan, Ben W J Mol, K Oude Rengerink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


INTRODUCTION: Evidence-based medicine (EBM) improves the quality of health care. Courses on how to teach EBM in practice are available, but knowledge does not automatically imply its application in teaching. We aimed to identify and compare barriers and facilitators for teaching EBM in clinical practice in various European countries.

METHODS: A questionnaire was constructed listing potential barriers and facilitators for EBM teaching in clinical practice. Answers were reported on a 7-point Likert scale ranging from not at all being a barrier to being an insurmountable barrier.

RESULTS: The questionnaire was completed by 120 clinical EBM teachers from 11 countries. Lack of time was the strongest barrier for teaching EBM in practice (median 5). Moderate barriers were the lack of requirements for EBM skills and a pyramid hierarchy in health care management structure (median 4). In Germany, Hungary and Poland, reading and understanding articles in English was a higher barrier than in the other countries.

CONCLUSION: Incorporation of teaching EBM in practice faces several barriers to implementation. Teaching EBM in clinical settings is most successful where EBM principles are culturally embedded and form part and parcel of everyday clinical decisions and medical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e125-30
JournalMedical Teacher
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Education, Medical
  • Europe
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Knowledge
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Time Factors


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