A 40-hour tailored training programme improves evidence-based practice (EBP) competences in clinical nurses

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Yeh M1, Chang B2, Dai H3, Chung M4, Wang M1
1National Taipei University of Nursing and Health Sciences, 2Cheng-Hsin General Hospital, 3Taipei Veterans General Hospital, 4Taipei Medical University

Background: today, medical care can be guided by evidence-based practice (EBP), and EBP is a well-accepted healthcare model for nursing practice in Taiwan. In order to perform EBP adequately, it is mandatory for healthcare professionals to acquire not only knowledge, but also skills and attitude.

Objectives: this study designed a specific, 40-hour tailored training programme, trying to improve the competences in EBP, and also to evaluate its effect in clinically practicing nurses.

Methods: this was a two-group, before-after experimental study. Eighty participants recruited from one hospital were equally assigned into two groups. In the experimental group, a 40-hour, tailored EBP training programme was conducted that included 20 one-hour face-to-face lectures, 10 hours consulting, 10 hours hand-in SR_MA practice, and participating in campaigns for EBM. Pre- and post-test outcome measures were taken prior to and after the training, using the Health Sciences-Evidence Based Practice questionnaire (HS-EBP) tool.

Results: the mean age of participants was 37.3 years (SD 8.03). Since the variance issue from the outcome improvement, we used the K-means of cluster analysis, resulting in regrouping the experimental group as ExpA and ExpB. We used one-way ANOVA followed by Scheffe’s tests to analyze the intervention effect. There were significant improvements in all five domains among three groups (P < .001), with the ExpA superior to ExpB and control (P < .05). The ExpA made improvements in all five domains, especially in the scientific results from scientific research (mean 41.90, SD 18.86) and followed by the assessment of results (mean 30.05, SD 12.09). The ExpB showed improvements in three domains including the scientific results from scientific research, assessment of results, and beliefs-attitudes. The control group, on the contrary, showed deterioration in scores of all domains except the development of professional practice.

Conclusions: the 40-hour tailored EBP training programme conducted amongst healthcare professionals is an effective and tested undertaking in improving EBP competences. The nurses who received the training programme improved their knowledge and skills of EBP, and have positive attitudes towards EBP. However, barriers for them to perform EBP include lack of time, resources and support from their working organization. Continuous EBP education and organizational support become important issues for effectively performing EBP in Taiwan.

Patient involvement: EBP recognizes that the preferences, values, and feedbacks from patients should be prudently considered. Furthermore, inviting patients to participate in making clinical therapeutic decisions is also encouraged. To have credibility and capacity to perform EBP in patient healthcare, clinical nurses must have the competences to do so. The tailored EBP training programme we designed here has achieved its primary goal in developing EBP competences through learning, practice, and campaigns.