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Objective: To develop and validate an instrument for measuring knowledge and skills in evidence based medicine and to investigate whether short courses in evidence based medicine lead to a meaningful increase in knowledge and skills. Design: Development and validation of an assessment instrument and before and after study. Setting: Various postgraduate short courses in evidence based medicine in Germany. Participants: The instrument was validated with experts in evidence based medicine, postgraduate doctors, and medical students. The effect of courses was assessed by postgraduate doctors from medical and surgical backgrounds. Intervention: Intensive 3 day courses in evidence based medicine delivered through tutor facilitated small groups. Main outcome measure: Increase in knowledge and skills. Results: The questionnaire distinguished reliably between groups with different expertise in evidence based medicine. Experts attained a threefold higher average score than students. Postgraduates who had not attended a course performed better than students but significantly worse than experts. Knowledge and skills in evidence based medicine increased after the course by 57% (mean score before course 6.3 (SD 2.9) v 9.9 (SD 2.8), P < 0.001). No difference was found among experts or students in absence of an intervention. Conclusions: The instrument reliably assessed knowledge and skills in evidence based medicine. An intensive 3 day course in evidence based medicine led to a significant increase in knowledge and skills.

Original publication




Journal article


British Medical Journal

Publication Date





1338 - 1341