Information seeking behavior and awareness among physicians regarding drug information centers in Saudi Arabia

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Drug Information Services, Information Seeking Behavior, Awareness, Physicians, Reference Books, Surveys and Questionnaires, Saudi Arabia


Background: The role of Drug Information Center (DIC) in a health-care setting has increased tremendously owing to the high influx of pharmaceutical molecules that pose serious challenges to physicians. DIC promotes rational prescribing behavior among physicians, leading to better patient outcome.

Objectives: This study aimed to explore information-seeking behaviors and awareness of physicians regarding DIC services in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among physicians working in government and private sectors between June to November 2018 by using an 18-item electronic anonymous questionnaire. Descriptive and inferential statistics were performed using IBM SPSS (Version 21). A P-value of <0.05 was taken as the level of significance between responses.

Results: In total, 500 questionnaires were distributed among the included hospitals, and only 254 physicians (response rate: 50.8%), including 193 males (76%), participated in the study. The majority of participants (n = 83, 32.7%) had more than ten years of experience, and many of the respondents (n=131) worked as residents. Most of the physicians (62.9%) were aware of their institutional DIC. UpToDate was the most preferred drug information database among physicians. Regarding the improvement required in the DIC services, most of the physicians (23.6%) opined that the contact details should be available in all clinical wards.

Conclusions: Only 10% of the respondents were not aware of the presence of DIC at their institution. The UpToDate online drug information database was the most frequently used database by the physicians. Our findings showed that there is a need for conducting educational programs for physicians regarding DIC services. Such an attempt can increase the frequency of drug-related queries and promote patient safety.


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