Identification and physicians’ views of their commonly-used drug information sources in Singapore
- 160 Downloads
Aim To examine physicians’ use and views of various sources for general drug information and to determine the kind of drug-related questions they receive. Method An online survey of general practitioners who were Singapore Medical Association members was conducted. The survey consisted of questions about the physicians’ demographics, the drug information source they used most often, their opinions on the information from that source, and the types of drug-related questions they received from patients. Results Among the 236 physicians who responded to the survey, 58.1% used reference texts most frequently; of these respondents, 80.3% used the Monthly Index of Medical Specialties. Only 4.2% most often go to pharmacists for drug information. Of the 75 (31.8%) respondents who chose online sources, about half used Google while the remainder used specific websites. Most respondents rated drug information from reference texts as somewhat comprehensive (71.5%) and usually reliable (81.8%). The choice of drug information sources was associated with physicians’ age, place of practice, access to the Internet, and clinical experience (P < 0.05). The types of drug-related questions that physicians most frequently received were with regards to adverse drug reactions (76.3%), drug costs (36.4%), and drug use during pregnancy or lactation (34.3%). Conclusion Most physicians in Singapore search for general drug information using reference texts and consider them to be comprehensive and reliable. Questions pertaining to adverse drug reactions were the drug-related questions physicians most frequently receive. It is important for physicians to have appropriate drug information references and learn methods with which to verify the credibility of drug information obtained from the Internet. Pharmacists can also work to improve their role as providers of drug information.
KeywordsAttitude of health personnel Drug information General practitioners Singapore Survey
We would like to thank all the physicians who responded to the survey and the Singapore Medical Association for distributing the survey.
Conflicts of interest
The authors have no conflict of interests to declare.
- 2.Kohn L, Corrigan J, Donaldson M, editors. To err is human: building a safer health system. Washington, DC, USA: National Academies Press; 1999. ISBN:0309068371.Google Scholar
- 5.Singapore Medical Council annual report 2008. Singapore: Singapore Medical Council, 2008. http://www.smc.gov.sg/html/MungoBlobs/515/148/SMC%20Annual%20Report%202008%20(Final%20Printed%20Version).pdf. (Accessed December 2010).
- 18.Bennett NL, Casebeer LL, Kristofco R, Collins BC. Family physicians’ information seeking behaviors: a survey comparison with other specialties. BioMed Central. 2005;5:1–5.Google Scholar
- 20.Monthly Index of Medical Specialties (MIMS) Singapore. http://www.mims.com.sg. (Accessed 2011 Feb 12).
- 22.URAC’s Health Web Site and Health Content Vendor Accreditation Programs. http://www.urac.org/programs/prog_accred_HWS_po.aspx. (Accessed 2010 Dec 12).
- 23.HON Code of Conduct (HONcode) for medical and health Web sites.www.hon.ch/HONcode. (Accessed 2010 Dec 12).
- 24.List of registered medical practitioners for 2007. Supplement to the Republic of Singapore Government Gazette. Singapore National Printers Corporation Ltd (SNP), 2007.Google Scholar