Analysis of questions asked by family physicians regarding patient care

John W. Ely, Jerome A. Osheroff, Mark H. Ebell, George R. Bergus, Barcey T. Levy, M. Lee Chambliss, Eric R. Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: To characterize the information needs of family physicians by collecting the questions they asked about patient care during consultations and to classify these in ways that would be useful to developers of knowledge bases. - Design: An observational study in which investigators visited physicians for two half-days and collected their questions. Taxonomies were developed to characterize the clinical topic and generic type of information sought for each question. - Setting: Easter Iowa. - Participants: Random sample of 103 family physicians. - Main outcome measures: Number of questions posed, pursued, and answered; topic and generic type of information sought for each question; time spent pursuing answers; and information resources used. - Results: Participants asked a total of 1,101 questions. Questions about drug prescribing, obstetrics and gynecology, and adult infectious disease were most common, comprising 36% of the total. The taxonomy of generic questions included 69 categories; the three most common types, comprising 24% of all questions, were 'What is the cause of symptom X?' 'What is the dose of drug X?' and 'How should I manage disease or finding X?' Answers to most questions (n = 702 [64%]) were not immediately pursued, but of those pursued, most (n = 318 [80%]) were answered. Physicians spent an average of less than 2 minutes pursuing an answer, and they used readily available print and human resources. Only two questions led to a formal literature search. - Conclusions: Family physicians in this study did not pursue answers to most of their questions. Questions about patient care can be organized into a limited number of generic types, which could help guide the efforts of knowledge-base developers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-319
Number of pages5
JournalWestern Journal of Medicine
Volume172
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 17 2000

Fingerprint

Family Physicians
Patient Care
Knowledge Bases
Physicians
Drug Prescriptions
Gynecology
Obstetrics
Observational Studies
Communicable Diseases
Referral and Consultation
Research Personnel
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
Pharmaceutical Preparations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Ely, J. W., Osheroff, J. A., Ebell, M. H., Bergus, G. R., Levy, B. T., Lee Chambliss, M., & Evans, E. R. (2000). Analysis of questions asked by family physicians regarding patient care. Western Journal of Medicine, 172(5), 315-319. https://doi.org/10.1136/ewjm.172.5.315

Analysis of questions asked by family physicians regarding patient care. / Ely, John W.; Osheroff, Jerome A.; Ebell, Mark H.; Bergus, George R.; Levy, Barcey T.; Lee Chambliss, M.; Evans, Eric R.

In: Western Journal of Medicine, Vol. 172, No. 5, 17.06.2000, p. 315-319.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ely, JW, Osheroff, JA, Ebell, MH, Bergus, GR, Levy, BT, Lee Chambliss, M & Evans, ER 2000, 'Analysis of questions asked by family physicians regarding patient care', Western Journal of Medicine, vol. 172, no. 5, pp. 315-319. https://doi.org/10.1136/ewjm.172.5.315
Ely JW, Osheroff JA, Ebell MH, Bergus GR, Levy BT, Lee Chambliss M et al. Analysis of questions asked by family physicians regarding patient care. Western Journal of Medicine. 2000 Jun 17;172(5):315-319. https://doi.org/10.1136/ewjm.172.5.315
Ely, John W. ; Osheroff, Jerome A. ; Ebell, Mark H. ; Bergus, George R. ; Levy, Barcey T. ; Lee Chambliss, M. ; Evans, Eric R. / Analysis of questions asked by family physicians regarding patient care. In: Western Journal of Medicine. 2000 ; Vol. 172, No. 5. pp. 315-319.
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