GPs in the UK rate journals, educational materials and events over literature, websites and reps from pharmaceutical companies when it comes to communicating information, according to the 2013 National Medical Readership Survey (MRS).
NMRS 2013, which was run by the Joint Industry Committee of Medical Advertisers for Readership Surveys (JICMARS), also found that GPs are turning increasingly to digital media to fit their needs.
The survey was intended to determine GPs' attitude to, and use of, print and digital media when it came to their work, with key findings including that speed is of the essence, with online sources increasingly the first port of call for quickly checking clinical information.
Other key values of online for GPs included the ability to look for specific information.
Printed publications still have their place, however, with the survey discovering that GPs value print read for 'longer, serendipitous and more leisurely reading', as well as to keep up-to-date with developments in clinical practice and for ongoing professional education.
Regarding the medium for information, the survey found that GPs consider search engines the most useful source, following by medical educational materials. Social media for GPs was considered second least useful, ahead of pharmaceutical company and product websites.
The survey also set to find out GP behaviour when it came to the types of information they look at, regardless of the medium.
The top five information areas were those which fulfil surgery information needs: clinical information on diseases and conditions; information on drugs/treatments and prescribing; clinical guidelines; local protocols; and patient information.
The 2013 survey included – for the first time – an online element. Combined with the established postal survey, this provided extensive data on the 'media landscape' as used by GPs, and the survey now delivers data on print readership, digital edition/ app usage and website usage.