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A series of evidence-based drug therapy letters improved prescribing behaviour

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 Q Do evidence-based drug therapy letters affect the prescribing behaviour of physicians to newly treated patients?

Clinical impact ratings GP/FP/Primary care ★★★★★★☆


Embedded ImageDesign:

cluster randomised controlled trial.

Embedded ImageAllocation:


Embedded ImageBlinding:

blinded {clinicians, patients, and outcome assessors}.*

Embedded ImageFollow up period:

3 months (8 wks for letters #7 and #8).

Embedded ImageSetting:

24 local health areas (LHAs) in British Columbia, Canada.

Embedded ImageParticipants:

a 10% sample of prescribing physicians from the 24 LHAs: 499 physicians (mean age 46 y, 86% men, 90% general practitioners). The patient populations were (i) residents of British Columbia who were ⩾66 years of age between 1993 and 1998, lived at home or in a continuing care institution, and had been eligible for Pharmacare coverage for ⩾1 year (people who had made no claim in the preceding year for any drug among the drug classes included in the letters were “at risk” of a first prescription); and (ii) a younger patient population, which was used to …

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  • * *See glossary.

  • Information provided by author

  • For correspondence: Dr C R Dormuth, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.

  • Source of funding: British Columbia Ministry of Health Services.