The use of drug information sources by physicians: Development of a data-generating methodology

E. J. C. Boerkamp*, F. M. Haaijer-Ruskamp, J. C. Reuyl, A. Versluis

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)


    The aim of this study was: (1) to develop and evaluate a methodology to determine hospital physician's use of personal drug information sources; (2) a preliminary insight into the use personal drug information sources. Written case simulations appeared to be the most appropriate method. To construct the written case simulations a step-wise procedure was developed. In the first stage 5 internists formulated 35 complex cases from their daily practice in which they consulted drug information sources; after an evaluation by experts 20 cases were left over. Next, using a written questionnaire, these 20 cases were evaluated in a random sample of 50 internists according to criteria concerning aspects of the process, the contents and the context. Finally, we analyzed these ratings using an elimination-by-aspects decision rule, with the dominant criterion 'need for consultation'. After this selection programme, two cases for each stage in the decision-making process of hospital physicians were selected which met the criteria. In general the colleague internist was the most frequently mentioned information source. Subspecialists and supporting specialists were considered less often and varied per stage in the decision-making process of physicians. The hospital pharmacist was hardly mentioned as a possible information source. The representatives of the pharmaceutical industry were not mentioned at all by the respondents.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)379-388
    Number of pages10
    JournalSocial Science & Medicine
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Feb-1996


    • methodology
    • drug information
    • written case simulations
    • decision-making process

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