• Karan B. Bhanushali Internal Medicine/Physician Associate, Rural Medical College, Pravara Institute of Medical Sciences, Loni, India
  • Nikita Gupta Grant Medical College and Sir. J.J. Group of Hospitals, Mumbai, India
  • Vinayak Mishra Internal Medicine Resident Physician, California Institute of Behavioral Neurosciences and Psychology, Fairfield, USA • California, USA
  • Heena Asnani Internal Medicine Resident Physician, Rural Medical College, Pravara Institute of Medical Sciences, Loni, India
Keywords: EBM, COVID-19


Introduction: During the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a tremendous amount of literature published regularly. In a country like India, historically, where there is a paternalistic approach to practicing medicine, there is a lot of hindrance to evidence-based medicine (EBM). Doctors have always weighed one's clinical experience superior over any other form of decision-making. This system of practice has made decision-making difficult for the physicians during this pandemic as COVID-19 is a reasonably new disease entity and the physicians lack enough 'prior experience' dealing with such a situation. Our survey tries to address the common barriers to evidence-based medical practices especially during the COVID-19 pandemic in India. We also try to explore the various source of information used by the doctors.

Methods: It is a descriptive cross-sectional survey. The questions were provided in multiple-choice question format. An online survey comprising of 10 questions entitled “Hurdles faced by physicians to assimilate evidence-based guidelines on COVID-19” was made using Google Forms (Google Inc, California, US) and circulated through email to medical practitioners in the Ghatkopar (Mumbai, India) Medical Association's register from 17th June 2020 to 1st September 2020.

Results: Our survey collected 213 responses, out of which 80.3% (n=171) of doctors were involved in care, counseling, or management of COVID-19 patients. The most opted primary sources for evidence-based information during this pandemic were teachings of/discussions with medical colleagues (71.4%, n=152), followed by online webinars (59.6%, n= 127) and social media (41.8%, n=89).

When questioned about the main obstacles faced by them to obtain evidence-based information, the responses were as follows: Overload of medical literature (53.5%, n=114), limited access to quality resources (40.8%, n=87), unfamiliarity with the bio-statistics analysis (39%, n= 83), difficulty in locating relevant medical literature (38%, n=81), unfamiliarity with the research methodology (37.1%, n=79), lack of time (30%, n=64). 

Our respondents' perspective concerning EBM attributes: 57.3% (n=122) think evidence-based practice takes their clinical experience into account. 93.4% (n=199) of them have shown an interest in broadening their skills. There was no significant difference between doctors' attitudes with less than 10 years and more than 10 years of experience (chi-square value = 0.857, p = 0.65).

Conclusion: Our survey results highlight the balance maintained between evidence-based medicine and experience-based medicine by Indian physicians. They identify the importance of EBM while acknowledging its shortcomings. They realize the significance of developing their repertoire to understand, appraise, and practice EBM.

Keywords: EBM, COVID-19

How to Cite
Bhanushali, K. B., Gupta, N., Mishra, V., & Asnani, H. (2021). EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE IN THE TIMES OF COVID-19: A CROSS-SECTIONAL SURVEY TO UNDERSTAND THE INDIAN PERSPECTIVE. International Journal of Medical Science And Diagnosis Research, 5(5). https://doi.org/10.32553/ijmsdr.v5i5.794