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J Contin Educ Nurs. 2008 Oct;39(10):461-7.

Promoting critical appraisal of the research literature: a workshop for school nurses.

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University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15261, USA.


To promote healthy lifestyles and prevent youth obesity, school nurses collaborate with teachers and other professionals to implement effective health promotion activities (e.g., physical fitness initiatives and nutrition education). Critical appraisal of relevant, published literature is an essential competency for school nurses engaged in health promotion within their schools. A 1-day continuing education workshop was conducted to enhance literature appraisal skills needed for evidence-based practice among school nurses employed within one urban school district. Forty-six school nurses, students, and other professionals attended this workshop and participated in appraisals of selected research articles. Although the attendees rated the faculty and content highly, their intent to apply the findings to practice was limited. Applying a critical appraisal approach to the literature focused on youth obesity prevention and health promotion was innovative for educating school nurses in this process while helping them choose whether and how existing literature may be applied to their practice. Nurse educators and faculty may replicate this process with school nurses or other nursing specialties.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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