The research determined (1) the information sources that family physicians (FPs) most commonly use to update their general medical knowledge and to make specific clinical decisions, and (2) the information sources FPs found to be most physically accessible, intellectually accessible (easy to understand), reliable (trustworthy), and relevant to their needs.
A cross-sectional postal survey of 792 FPs and locum tenens, in full-time or part-time medical practice, currently practicing or on leave of absence in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan was conducted during the period of January to April 2008.
Of 666 eligible physicians, 331 completed and returned surveys, resulting in a response rate of 49.7% (331/666). Medical textbooks and colleagues in the main patient care setting were the top 2 sources for the purpose of making specific clinical decisions. Medical textbooks were most frequently considered by FPs to be reliable (trustworthy), and colleagues in the main patient care setting were most physically accessible (easy to access).
When making specific clinical decisions, FPs were most likely to use information from sources that they considered to be reliable and generally physically accessible, suggesting that FPs can best be supported by facilitating easy and convenient access to high-quality information.
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