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Worldviews Evid Based Nurs. 2010 Jun 1;7(2):90-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-6787.2009.00180.x. Epub 2010 Jan 8.

Exploring knowledge, attitudes, and barriers toward the use of evidence-based practice amongst academic health care practitioners in their teaching in a South African university: a pilot study.

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1
Centre for Health Science Education, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Parktown, Johannesburg, South Africa. Patricia.McInerney@wits.ac.za

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

If institutions of higher education are to produce health professionals whose practice is research based, then students need to be exposed to learning opportunities that include searching for information and critical appraisal. This requires teachers to incorporate the latest research in their teaching. One of the identified strategic goals of a South African university was to produce evidence-based health care practitioners. Evidence-based practice (EBP) requires that health care practitioners plan their actions based on clinically relevant studies and research as opposed to traditional actions that are steeped in opinion.

AIM OF STUDY:

To determine the extent to which academic health care practitioners use "evidence" in their teaching and what they perceived as barriers to the use of EBP.

METHODS:

A quantitative design was chosen and a structured questionnaire was used. The areas that were measured included knowledge and attitudes, use of EBP and perceived barriers to the use of EBP.

RESULTS:

Twenty-three academic health care practitioners completed the questionnaire. Knowledge and attitudes: 80% strongly agreed on a four-point Likert scale, that there is a strong need to incorporate EBP into teaching, with only 48% strongly agreeing that EBP is another perspective of clinical effectiveness. Use of EBP: 73.9% stated that they used EBP in their teaching and 60.9% agreed that it imposes another demand on an already overloaded academic. More than half reported using journals, textbooks, the Internet, colleagues, and the Cochrane library to improve their teaching.

CONCLUSIONS:

Academic health care practitioners attempting to implement EBP have encountered a significant number of barriers in this South African institution. These barriers include lack of knowledge pertaining to EBP, lack of access to research findings, insufficient evidence, and insufficient time.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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