||Flodgren, G., Parmelli, E., Doumit, G., Gattellari, M., O’Brien, M. A., Grimshaw, J., Eccles, M. P. (2011). Local opinion leaders: effects on professional practice and health care outcomes (Review). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 8, 3-71. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD000125.pub4
||Local opinion leaders: effects on professional practice and health care outcomes
O’Brien, M. A.
Eccles, M. P.
||Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
||Many times clinical practices are not evidence-based. This may lead to variability in the effectiveness of methods used to improve patient outcomes. Flodgren et al. examine the use of opinion leaders as a means of disseminating information. Opinion leaders are thought to be more exposed to information, have higher social status, and overall be more influential than their peers. The primary objectives of this review include, assessing the effectiveness of local opinion leaders, comparing opinion leaders to various interventions or lack thereof, and evaluating effectiveness of opinion leaders vary based on operational definitions from researchers. After implementation of the selection criteria, a total of 18 trials are included for this review. Results indicate that opinion leaders typically promote evidence-based practices. However, beyond this, opinion leaders are not clearly defined and it is therefore impossible to say what the most effective options may be for improving patient outcomes.
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