International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health vol:83 issue:2 pages:201-208
PURPOSE: To identify the attitude of occupational health physicians toward evidence-based occupational health (EBOH) and clinical practice guidelines (CPGs); to determine their ability to access, retrieve and appraise the health evidence and the barriers to applying evidence to practice. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey study was carried out among all Dutch-speaking occupational health physicians in Belgium (584 physicians could be reached). RESULTS: A response rate of 25.5% was achieved. The majority of respondents were positive toward EBOH and CPGs. Most respondents were less confident in basic skills of EBM, except for their searching skills. Perceived barriers to applying evidence to practice were mainly time and lack of EBM skills. CONCLUSIONS: Belgian occupational health physicians are interested in the implementation of EBOH in their daily occupational practice and have a general knowledge of EBM. However, there are barriers in the legislative framework, the education and the information infrastructure, which first have to be removed. The time has come for the responsible authorities to take educational initiatives and to take a huge leap forward in the integration of EBOH into occupational practice.