eCite Digital Repository

What are the perceived learning needs of Australian general practice registrars for quality prescribing?


Ajjawi, R and Thistlethwaite, JE and Aslani, P and Cooling, NB, What are the perceived learning needs of Australian general practice registrars for quality prescribing?, Bmc Medical Education, 10, (92) pp. 1-7. ISSN 1472-6920 (2010) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Licenced under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

DOI: doi:10.1186/1472-6920-10-92


Background: Little is known about the perceived learning needs of Australian general practice (GP) registrars in relation to the quality use of medicines (QUM) or the difficulties experienced when learning to prescribe. This study aimed to address this gap.

Methods: GP registrars' perceived learning needs were investigated through an online national survey, interviews and focus groups. Medical educators' perceptions were canvassed in semi-structured interviews in order to gain a broader perspective of the registrars' needs. Qualitative data analysis was informed by a systematic framework method involving a number of stages. Survey data were analysed descriptively.

Results: The two most commonly attended QUM educational activities took place in the workplace and through regional training providers. Outside of these structured educational activities, registrars learned to prescribe mainly through social and situated means. Difficulties encountered by GP registrars included the transition from hospital prescribing to prescribing in the GP context, judging how well they were prescribing and identifying appropriate and efficient sources of information at the point of care.

Conclusions: GP registrars learn to prescribe primarily and opportunistically in the workplace. Despite many resources being expended on the provision of guidelines, decision-support systems and training, GP registrars expressed difficulties related to QUM. Ways of easing the transition into GP and of managing the information 'overload' related to medicines (and prescribing) in an evidence-guided, efficient and timely manner are needed. GP registrars should be provided with explicit feedback about the process and outcomes of prescribing decisions, including the use of audits, in order to improve their ability to judge their own prescribing.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Prescribing, Quality use of medicine, general practice
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Primary health care
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Other health
Objective Field:Other health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Cooling, NB (Dr Nick Cooling)
ID Code:91789
Year Published:2010
Web of Science® Times Cited:11
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2014-05-29
Last Modified:2014-10-08
Downloads:326 View Download Statistics

Repository Staff Only: item control page