• Vol. 38 No. 6, 559–563
  • 15 June 2009

Teaching Evidence-based Practice: Perspectives from the Undergraduate and Post-graduate Viewpoint



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Introduction: Evidence-based practice (EBP) involves making clinical decisions informed by the most relevant and valid evidence available. It has been suggested that the outcomes of teaching EBP skills may differ between undergraduates and post-graduates due to different determinants in learning. This paper reviews the current literature and discusses the impact of the teaching environment (undergraduate or post-graduate) for teaching EBP and its impact on EBP competency. Methods: A search of the literature was performed across the MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsychInfo and ERIC databases. Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and non-randomised trials were eligible for inclusion in the paper. Studies were included for review if they explored the impact of teaching on participants’ EBP competency, consisting of critical appraisal skills, knowledge and/or behaviour. Results: Ten articles were eligible for inclusion for this review, of which 7 met all inclusion criteria. EBP competency was shown to increase regardless of whether EBP is delivered to medical students at an undergraduate or post-graduate level. EBP taught to a non-medical undergraduate audience did not modify participants’ EBP competency. No study directly compared teaching EBP to an undergraduate and post-graduate audience. Conclusions: Given the limited amount of studies included in this review, further research incorporating highlevel methodologies is required to establish a clear recommendation on the research question.

Evidence-based practice (EBP) involves making clinical decisions informed by the most relevant and valid evidence available.1 EBP has been described as the integration of clinical expertise and patient values with the best available research evidence.1 Clinical expertise draws on the health professional’s clinical skills and past experience to identify and treat each patient’s individual circumstance. Patient values encompass the personal concerns, expectations, cultural influences and characteristics of individuals during the clinical encounter. The best research evidence draws on the highest quality of clinically related research. The integration of these 3 elements increases the potential for positive health outcomes

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