Open Access Open Badges Research article

Effectiveness of a short-course in improving knowledge and skills on evidence-based practice

Josep M Argimon-Pallàs1, Gemma Flores-Mateo2, Josep Jiménez-Villa1 and Enriqueta Pujol-Ribera2*

Author Affiliations

1 Divisió d'Avaluació, Servei Català de la Salut, Barcelona, Spain

2 Institut d'Investigació en Atenció Primària Jordi Gol, Barcelona, Spain

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BMC Family Practice 2011, 12:64  doi:10.1186/1471-2296-12-64

Published: 30 June 2011



To assess the effectiveness (change in knowledge and skills measured by the Fresno test) of a short course in Evidence Based Practice (EBP) carried out in a group of family medicine residents


Before-after study. Participants' were 152 Family Medicine residents in their second year of the training programme. Settings were Primary Care Teaching Units in Catalonia. Intervention was comprised of a four half-day training course designed to develop the knowledge and skills required to practice evidence-based care. The main outcome measure was change in EBP knowledge and skills, measured using the Spanish version of the Fresno test (score range, 0-212)


The mean difference between pre-test and post-test was 47.7, a statistically significant result with 95% CI of 42.8-52.5 (p < 0.0001). An important improvement was observed in the questions related to calculations such as sensitivity, specificity, the absolute risk reduction or the number needed to treat. A more modest increase was found in the residents' knowledge and skills in finding the best clinical evidence, and appraising the validity and applicability of an article. Finally, a weak and non-statistically significant improvement was found in formulating a clinical question.


The study provides evidence for responsiveness to changes in knowledge and skills in EBP after an educational intervention.

Evidence Based Practice; effectiveness; course