Background: The Danube University Krems, where Cochrane Austria is hosted, is offering a variety of courses in the field of medicine and health sciences. Within these courses, modules on evidence-based research skills and methods have gained popularity. Cochrane Austria was requested to develop teaching modules on evidence-based methods and contents to meet their increasing demand. This is in line with the Cochrane Strategy to 2020 and the Cochrane training and professional development strategy, including the establishment of university-affiliated courses, and providing appropriate training opportunities.
Objectives: To develop teaching modules and implement them in university-affiliated courses, transferring research skills and basic knowledge in the area of evidence-based healthcare. All modules follow a standard structure that can be tailored to the audience of the various courses. The modules are also intended for people without prior knowledge of evidence-based research methods.
Development and structure: In consultation with the heads of departments and course directors, needs, requirements, and previous knowledge of the students are assessed in order to turn expectations into realistic and effective learning goals. A challenge is to define the level of knowledge and skills that is essential (compulsory modules) or optional (elective modules) for the general audience to achieve. Depending on learning goals, compulsory modules are delivered in blocks of five days and include evidence-based medicine and healthcare, facts about Cochrane, epidemiology, statistics, study designs, critical appraisal of studies, including qualitative research and guidelines, and literature searches. Elective modules are implemented based on the background, interests and needs of the respective audience.
Prospects: The first block of teaching modules will be launched end of April. The purpose of this presentation is to highlight issues around the implementation of the training, share teaching experiences so far, and discuss potential modifications to the modules. It will be of interest to a wide audience involved in training and teaching evidence-based research methods.