Introduction: A questionnaire study was conducted among Danish general practitioners (GPs) as part of an international evaluation of the Institute for Rational Pharmacotherapy (IRF). The aim was to investigate GPs' use and opinion of the IRF's activities. Material and methods: A questionnaire was sent to a random sample of 500 GPs, who were asked about their level of knowledge and frequency of use of IRF's activities, as well as their opinion on the relevance, credibility and independence of the IRF's activities. Results: The response rate was 59%. IRF is generally not the first source of information about new drugs, but is frequently used in the search for information about comparability between drugs and in relation to sudden drug warnings. IRF's Rational Pharmacotherapy bulletin and its GP courses, which nine out of ten GPs knew about, were considered to be highly relevant by 80% and 71%, respectively. All of IRF's activities were considered highly credible. Most GPs felt that the IRF's information increased their confidence in prescribing decisions (84%) and supported them in their role as a GP (88%). Conclusion: IRF's activities support the GP's prescribing role through the production of credible, neutral and evidence-based pharmacotherapeutic information that is not available elsewhere. IRF could further refine its dissemination methods, however, in order to reach more GPs and to increase the use of its information.
Ugeskrift for Læger, 2009, Vol 171, Issue 7, p. 522-526