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Confidence and Information Access in Clinical Decision-Making: An Examination of the Cognitive Processes that affect the Information-seeking Behavior of Physicians.
Clinical decision-making involves the interplay between cognitive processes and physicians' perceptions of confidence in the context of their information-seeking behavior. The objectives of the study are: to examine how these concepts interact, to determine whether physician confidence, defined in relation to information need, affects clinical decision-making, and if information access improves decision accuracy. We analyzed previously collected data about resident physicians' perceptions of information need from a study comparing abstracts and full-text articles in clinical decision accuracy. We found that there is a significant relation between confidence and accuracy (φ=0.164, p<0.01). We also found various differences in the alignment of confidence and accuracy, demonstrating the concepts of underconfidence and overconfidence across years of clinical experience. Access to online literature also has a significant effect on accuracy (p<0.001). These results highlight possible CDSS strategies to reduce medical errors.