How to Use the Berlin Questionnaire to Assess Competence in Evidence-Based Medicine
Evidence-based medicine (EbM) is the practice of integrating the best available scientific evidence with clinical expertise and patient values to make informed decisions for individual patients. EbM skills are essential for health professionals to provide high-quality care and improve patient outcomes. However, assessing EbM competence is challenging, as there is no gold standard for measuring EbM knowledge and skills.
One of the instruments that has been developed and validated to assess EbM competence is the Berlin Questionnaire (BQ). The BQ is a 15-item multiple-choice test that covers four domains of EbM: asking clinical questions, searching for evidence, appraising evidence, and applying evidence. The BQ was originally designed for medical residents, but it has been adapted and validated for other health professions, such as dentistry [^1^] [^2^].
The BQ is a useful tool for evaluating EbM curriculum effectiveness, identifying learning needs, and monitoring progress in EbM learning. The BQ can also be used as a self-assessment tool for health professionals who want to improve their EbM skills. The BQ is available in different languages, such as English [^3^], Dutch , and German .
To use the BQ, you need to download the PDF file of the questionnaire from the website of the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine (CEBM) at Oxford University . The PDF file contains the instructions, the questions, and the answer key. You can print the questionnaire or fill it online. You should answer each question by choosing one of the four options. You should not use any external sources or consult with others while answering the questions. You should complete the questionnaire within 30 minutes.
After completing the questionnaire, you can check your answers with the answer key and calculate your total score. The maximum score is 34 points. The higher your score, the better your EbM competence. However, there is no established cut-off score for passing or failing the BQ. You can compare your score with the scores of other groups of health professionals who have taken the BQ in previous studies [^3^] . You can also identify your strengths and weaknesses in each domain of EbM and plan your further learning accordingly.
The BQ is a reliable and valid instrument to assess competence in EbM in different health professions. However, it has some limitations that should be considered. The BQ does not measure all aspects of EbM, such as communication skills, ethical issues, or patient preferences. The BQ also does not assess the actual performance of EbM in clinical practice. Therefore, the BQ should be used in combination with other methods of assessment, such as clinical scenarios, portfolios, or audits.
The BQ is a valuable tool for health professionals who want to learn and improve their EbM skills. By using the BQ regularly, you can monitor your progress in EbM learning and enhance your ability to provide evidence-based care to your patients. aa16f39245