Background: Competition and education are intimately related and can be combined in many ways. The role of competition in medical education of evidence-based medicine (EBM) has not been investigated. In order to enhance the dissemination and implementation of EBM in Taiwan, EBM competitions have been established among healthcare professionals. This study was to evaluate the impact of competition in EBM learning. Methods. The EBM competition used PICO (patient, intervention, comparison, and outcome) queries to examine participants' skills in framing an answerable question, literature search, critical appraisal and clinical application among interdisciplinary teams. A structured questionnaire survey was conducted to investigate EBM among participants in the years of 2009 and 2011. Participants completed a baseline questionnaire survey at three months prior to the competition and finished the same questionnaire right after the competition. Results: Valid questionnaires were collected from 358 participants, included 162 physicians, 71 nurses, 101 pharmacists, and 24 other allied healthcare professionals. There were significant increases in participants' knowledge of and skills in EBM (p <0.001). Their barriers to literature searching and forming answerable questions significantly decreased (p <0.01). Furthermore, there were significant increases in their access to the evidence-based retrieval databases, including the Cochrane Library (p <0.001), MD Consult (p <0.001), ProQuest (p <0.001), UpToDate (p = 0.001), CINAHL (p = 0.001), and MicroMedex (p = 0.024). Conclusions: The current study demonstrates a method that successfully enhanced the knowledge of, skills in, and behavior of EBM. The data suggest competition using PICO queries may serve as an effective way to facilitate the learning of EBM.
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