European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology

, Volume 59, Issue 3, pp 253–260 | Cite as

Pilot study on the feasibility and acceptability of academic detailing in general practice

  • Hilde Habraken
  • Isabelle Janssens
  • Kris Soenen
  • Mieke van Driel
  • Jaak Lannoy
  • Marc Bogaert
Pharmacoepidemiology and Prescription



To investigate the feasibility and acceptability of academic detailing in general practice in the North-East-Flanders region of Belgium.


All local quality groups in the study region were randomly allocated to either (1) two academic detailing visits to the individual members or (2) two academic detailing visits during the meetings of the local quality group. During these visits, the results of a systematic review of the literature on non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs) were presented.


Of 14 local quality groups, 12 allocated to the individual intervention agreed to participate. Of the 184 physicians invited to receive an academic detailer, 142 had two visits on NSAIDs. One hundred and five physicians gave their opinion on the visits by means of a questionnaire. The great majority of the responders (90%) wished to receive an academic detailer on other topics in the future, with a frequency of two visits per year. Of 13 local quality groups, 12 allocated to the group intervention, with a total number of 192 physicians who agreed to participate. Ten local quality groups with 166 members received the information on NSAIDs. The actual attendance rate per intervention session was approximately two out of three physicians. All 166 physicians of the participating local quality groups were offered an evaluation form, and 79 responded. Of the responders who received the full group intervention, 88% wished to have more academic detailing visits on other topics in their local quality group. A comparison between the evaluation forms of the individual and the group intervention revealed no major differences concerning the acceptability of the intervention.


The pilot study showed that academic detailing is feasible in the North-East-Flanders region of Belgium. Both the individual visits and the visits to the local quality groups were rated positively, and a majority of the general practitioners who returned the evaluation questionnaire wished to receive such visits in the future. The structure of the local quality groups implies limitations to the practical organisation of a visit, but requires less time investment than individual visits.


Academic detailing General practice Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs 



This study was funded by the Belgian Ministry for Consumer Interests, Health and Environment, and was executed under the supervision of the Belgian Centre for Pharmacotherapeutic Information. Carl Goeminne, Isabelle Janssens, Sofie Leroy and Fréderic Proot were the academic detailers. Octaaf Verheyden took care of the communication training and the communication agency Imagine produced written materials. Special thanks to the physicians who assisted in the literature search and the development of written materials, or took part in the training of the academic detailers: Thierry Christiaens, Tom Declercq, Marc De Meyere, Geert Lammens, Luc Foucart, Jean-Pierre Sturtewagen, Koen Verhofstadt, Hans Warie. We also thank Dominique Begerem, Adelbert De Leeuw, Nathalie Denecker, Leo Halet, Francis Nagels, Herwig Proesmans, and Patrick Verdonck as members of the steering committee, and all physicians who agreed to participate in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hilde Habraken
    • 1
  • Isabelle Janssens
    • 1
  • Kris Soenen
    • 1
  • Mieke van Driel
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jaak Lannoy
    • 1
    • 2
  • Marc Bogaert
    • 3
  1. 1.Projekt FarmakaGhentBelgium
  2. 2.Department of General Practice and Primary Health CareGhent UniversityBelgium
  3. 3.Heymans Institute of PharmacologyGhent UniversityBelgium

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