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J Allied Health. 2001 Winter;30(4):215-22.

Integrating evidence-based decision making into allied health curricula.

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National Center for Dental Hygiene Research, USC School of Dentistry, 925 West 34th Street, DEN 4330, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0641, USA.


An evidence-based approach may decrease variations in practice and time delays in adopting new procedures. This report describes the process for incorporating evidence-based decision making (EBDM) into curricula using active teaching techniques. The process centers on a national four-day Faculty Development Institute (FDI) program for dental hygiene, occupational therapy, and physical therapy faculty. Phase I assesses pre-Institute EBDM knowledge, skills, and teaching strategies. Phase II, onsite, involves learning EBDM principles and teaching skills and developing an educational package. Phase III integrates these into the curriculum, with ongoing follow-up. At baseline, faculty were unfamiliar with EBDM but were incorporating related skills. Formulation of questions and evidence gathering for patient-care decisions were weak. Phase II follow-up showed a significant increase in EBDM knowledge, p < 0.001, and 100% agreed or strongly agreed that they were prepared to integrate EBDM into their courses; 93% felt better prepared to use EBDM. Curricula and educational experiences need to include EBDM skills. The three-phase process can support faculty in making needed changes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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