A multi-professional evidence-based practice course improved allied health students' confidence and knowledge
Article first published online: 30 NOV 2010
© 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice
Volume 17, Issue 4, pages 635–639, August 2011
How to Cite
Bennett, S., Hoffmann, T. and Arkins, M. (2011), A multi-professional evidence-based practice course improved allied health students' confidence and knowledge. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, 17: 635–639. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2753.2010.01602.x
- Issue published online: 27 JUL 2011
- Article first published online: 30 NOV 2010
- Accepted for publication: 10 September 2010
- allied health;
- evidence-based practice;
Purpose To evaluate the effectiveness of a semester-long multi-professional university course teaching evidence-based practice principles to allied health students in terms of changes in attitudes, confidence, and perceived and actual knowledge regarding evidence-based practice.
Methods This was a pre–post study of allied health students who completed a multi-professional university course that taught evidence-based practice skills and concepts. The course was run over a 13-week period (2 hours per week) and utilized didactic lectures, tutorial and workshop formats, and a hands-on database searching session. Participants completed a questionnaire which assessed their attitudes, confidence, and perceived and actual knowledge regarding evidence-based practice on the first and last day of the course.
Results Ninety-one students participated in the study; however, complete data sets were available for only 59 participants. Attitudes towards evidence-based practice did not significantly improve; however, attitudes were already positive prior to undertaking the course. There was a statistically significant improvement in confidence with a mean increase of 9.02 [score range 6–30, 95% confidence interval (CI) 8.21, 9.82]. Perceived knowledge improved with a statistically significant mean increase of 14.15 (score range 5–25, 95% CI 12.55, 15.75) and there was a statistically significant mean increase in actual knowledge of 3.56 (score range 0–10, 95% CI 2.83, 4.29).
Conclusions Teaching evidence-based practice skills and concepts to allied health students within a multi-professional university curriculum improved confidence and perceived and actual knowledge regarding evidence-based practice. Further research is needed to determine if these changes result in long-term behaviour change once students graduate, and to consider optimal methods for multi- and interprofessional delivery of evidence-based practice training.