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Quality and impact of secondary information in promoting evidence-based clinical practice: a cross-sectional study about EBMH
  1. Sarah Barber1,
  2. Martina Corsi1,2,
  3. Toshi A Furukawa3,
  4. Andrea Cipriani1,4
  1. 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK;
  2. 2Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Pisa, Italy;
  3. 3Department of Health Promotion and Human Behavior, Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine/School of Public Health, Kyoto, Japan;
  4. 4Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, Warneford Hospital, Oxford, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Andrea Cipriani;{at}


Background All mental health professionals are encouraged to practise evidence-based medicine, but in an era of overwhelming research output, information management is key. Until now, no one has assessed the role of secondary journals, which aim to synthesise and present recent evidence, so as to promote evidence-based practice.

Objective We conducted a cross-sectional study via an online survey, to evaluate the quality of the content of Evidence-Based Mental Health (EBMH), as an example of a secondary journal, and the impact it has on evidence-based practice.

Methods We sent an online questionnaire to the commentators and the original study authors of all commentaries published in EBMH over the past 5 years (from 2011 to 2015, inclusive). The questions primarily concerned the quality of the included papers and their respective commentary, in addition to the ability of the commentaries to help disseminate research findings and promote evidence-based practice.

Findings We sent out 894 anonymous questionnaires and the overall response rate was 30%. The commentator and study author groups were largely homogeneous. Both groups were satisfied with the format and content of the commentaries, although over 60% of the authors were unaware of the commentary on their study before the survey. Notably, 80% of authors and 87% of commentators felt that the commentaries were useful in disseminating the findings of the original studies and implementing evidence-based practice.

Conclusions and clinical implications The commentators and original study authors view EBMH not as a vehicle for criticism, but instead as a trustworthy publication that crystallises important findings and presents them in digestible form with the aim of promoting key advances in mental health. Next, we aim to assess the extent to which the readership of this journal agrees.


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