Knowledge, attitudes and practice of physicians toward evidence-based medicine: A systematic review

Farzaneh Barzkar, Hamid Reza Baradaran* (Corresponding Author), Jalil Koohpayehzadeh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


AIM: To assess knowledge, attitude, and practice of graduate physicians toward evidence-based medicine (EBM) and the barriers to the implementation of EBM worldwide.

METHODS: Relevant databases were searched systematically with appropriate search terms up to September 2017. References of the articles detected by the search were screened for any new articles. Risk of bias was assessed by two independent reviewers. Data were extracted from the full-text articles based on the study summary measures and were collected in a data table.

RESULTS: Fifty-seven articles were finally included in this systematic review. The studies were of variable and moderate quality. Based on our results, physicians have a generally positive attitude toward EBM and most of them believe that its implementation improves patient care. However, their self-reported awareness and knowledge regarding EBM concepts and the main databases are generally poor. The major barriers to the practice of EBM were related to patient overload and lack of personal time, knowledge, and skills rather than a lack of facilities and resources. However, this pattern varied among the studies. Most of the physicians in the included studies referred to their colleagues and textbooks to answer most of their clinical questions.

CONCLUSION: Although many physicians have poor EBM knowledge and skills, the majority of them have a positive attitude toward the implication of EBM. To overcome the barriers against the evidence-based practice, it is recommended that appropriate policies be adopted to decrease physicians' workload and to provide them with preappraised evidence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-251
Number of pages6
JournalEvidence-Based Medicine
Issue number4
Early online date14 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2018


  • EBM
  • knowledge
  • physician
  • practice


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