Background: Evidence-based medicine (EBM) has been identified as a core competency that helps physicians improve healthcare quality. Acquiring evidence-based information is a crucial step in EBM implementation. The present study determined the influence of EBM instruction on evidence-based online database access of medical students. Methods: A structured questionnaire survey was administered to third-year undergraduate medical students enrolled in an 18-week elective course in EBM at Taipei Medical University prior to course commencement and after course completion. The means of the pre- and post-course responses were compared using paired-sample t-test. Results: After course completion, the students were more likely to access four evidence-based retrieval databases. Specifically, medical students more often accessed the Cochrane Library (p < 0.001), MD Consult/Clinical Key (p < 0.001), MEDLINE/PubMed (p < 0.001), and UpToDate (p < 0.001). By contrast, the use of Web portals did not increase (p = 0.380). Common motivations for accessing online databases were self-learning and for completing coursework. Conclusions: The EBM course was helpful in increasing the use of online evidence-based databases for medical students. This study has important implications for the delivery of EBM instruction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-185
Number of pages10
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • evidence-based medicine
  • internet
  • online database
  • curriculum


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