The effectiveness of Students 4 Best Evidence as a tool to improve evidence-based practice competencies in undergraduate health professional students: a pilot study

Tags: Poster
Arienti C1, Carter E2, Pollet J3, Ryan-Vig S2, Gimigliano F4, Kiekens C5, Negrini S3
1IRCCS Don Carlo Gnocchi Foundation, 2Student 4 Best Evidence, 3University of Brescia, 4University of Campania "Luingi Vanvitelli", 5University Hospitals Leuven

Background:

Evidence-based practice (EBP) is an essential element in the delivery of high-quality care. In EBP, healthcare professionals make clinical decisions based on the best available research results while considering the preferences and clinical circumstances of their patients. Experts and international organizations have emphasized the need for healthcare professionals to possess adequate knowledge, skills, and attitudes for EBP. An EBP learning laboratory has been established at an Italian university to educate medical and other health professional students in the use of evidence in clinical practice and research. Students 4 Best Evidence (S4BE) is an online community of students from around the world, from school age to university, who are interested in learning more about evidence-based practice. As well as featuring a library of learning resources, the site also provides a platform for students to write their own blogs.

Objectives:

The aim of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness (change in EBP attitudes, knowledge, skills and EBP) of an evidence-based clinical practice laboratory, using S4BE as an educational tool, to teach EBP competence to undergraduate students of physiotherapy.

Methods:

We are running an observational pretest-posttest study. The sample includes 90 students completing a Bachelor’s degree in physiotherapy at an Italian University. The intervention consists of the use of S4BE to teach EBP competence. The evidence-based practice questionnaire (EBPQ) is being used to evaluate EBP attitudes, knowledge, skills, and practice before the intervention, and at three months following the intervention. An intra-group analysis will be conducted.

Results:

The study is still ongoing with final data collection to be completed in March 2018: the results will be provided during the Cochrane Colloquium 2018.

Conclusions:

This observational study will provide evidence regarding the effectiveness of S4BE as an educational intervention to teach EBP competencies. The hypothesis is that engagement with S4BE will lead to improvements in students’ skills and understanding of EBP during their clinical training.

Patient or healthcare consumer involvement:

Not applicable.