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Creation and validation of the evidence-based practice confidence scale for health care professionals

Authors

  • Nancy M. Salbach BSc BSc(PT) MSc PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
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  • Susan B. Jaglal BSc MSc PhD

    1. Associate Professor, Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
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  • Work carried out at: University of Toronto, Department of Physical Therapy, 160-500 University Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M5G 1V7, Canada.

Dr Nancy Salbach, University of Toronto, Department of Physical Therapy, 160-500 University Avenue, Toronto ON M5G 1V7, Canada. E-mail: nancy.salbach@utoronto.ca

Abstract

Rationale  Self-efficacy beliefs may provide a means to influence health care professionals' (HCPs) engagement in evidence-based practice (EBP) but no standardized measure of this construct exists.

Objectives  To create and evaluate the validity and comprehensibility of a scale measuring belief in ability to implement EBP, known as EBP self-efficacy, among HCPs.

Methods  Items describing the steps of EBP outlined in the literature were generated. Fourteen content experts reviewed the scale for face and content validity. A purposive sample of 10 HCPs from medicine, nursing, physical and occupational therapy and speech language pathology provided feedback on the clarity and meaning of scale wording in telephone interviews.

Results  Progressive refinement yielded an 11-item self-report scale. Each item describes an activity that is part of the process of implementing EBP, such as formulating a question to guide a literature search and asking your patient or client about his/her needs, values and treatment preferences. To complete the scale, HCPs rate their level of confidence on an 11-point scale ranging from 0% (no confidence) to 100% (completely confident) in their ability to perform each activity. Item-level responses are averaged to obtain a summary score that can range from 0% to 100%.

Conclusion  The newly created scale, named the EPIC (evidence-based practice confidence) scale, provides an opportunity to evaluate HCPs' beliefs in their ability to implement EBP and the effects of interventions on these beliefs. Psychometric evaluation of the test-retest reliability and construct validity of the scale is necessary prior to its widespread use.

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