The Use of Evidence Based Practice in the Health Setting

In the spirit of preparing the annotated bibliography, I’ve decided some of the strongest articles I read regarding the topic of self efficacy in health professions. Overall a lot of the studies I found agreed that self efficacy is a strong measure of learning outcomes for students as well as a determiner for better diagnoses and efficiency of workflow for clinicians and other professionals.

The aim of the first study I looked at was to examine the role of work-related self-efficacy and the relationship between organizational context variables and social worker’s perspectives on evidence based practice. The motivation behind this study comes from previous works which found that social worker attitudes toward the adoption of evidence based practice were important to the implementation of said practices. Though there have been moves towards the implementation of evidence based practice, in the field of social work, there has been hesitation and many practicing social workers have not consistently incorporated evidence based practice. Organization context variables (such as no access to equipment and work-related data and resources) have served as a barrier towards the implementation of evidence based practice. 

The researchers used a convenience sampling method. Their sample size was 578 social workers in Israel. Data was collected via a questionnaire. The independent variables which were assessed in the questionnaire were: role ambiguity, accessibility of work related data and resources, workplace social support and work-related self-efficacy. The dependent variable was attitudes of evidence based practice. All questions were modeled off other survey questions. 

The study revealed, as the researchers had predicted, that there was a positive relationship  between self-efficacy and more positive attitudes towards evidence based practice. Out of the four independent variables, role ambiguity was found to be the most significant contribution in explaining self-efficacy in social workers. This additionally impacted the social workers implementation of evidence based practice. Some study limitations include the exclusion of various other organizational variables such as workload etc. 

The aim of the second study was to analyze the effect of evidence based practice perceptions on future implementation in pre-registration nursing students. The motivation for studying this question comes from the established importance of evidence based practice in clinician and health fields. The use and knowledge of evidence based practice in the nursing field has served as a tool for improving patient outcomes. Additionally, globally, it has been found that the rate of evidence based practice implementation by nursing students is low which potentially presents a problem when it comes to bettering patient outcomes. 

This study was conducted in Israel. The researchers surveyed 148 pre-registration nursing students via a self-administered questionnaire.  The questionnaire was based on an already existing evidence based practice questionnaire. Additional topics surveyed were: academic motivation, information literacy self-efficacy, and socio-demographic data. 

This study concluded that there was a significant relationship across all the factors they surveyed for. Additionally, the researchers found that there was a positive association between evidence based practice and evidence based practice perspectives. They claim that such results potentially indicate that the development of academic information literacy skills in students can promote both critical thinking in the clinical setting as well as encourage the use of evidence based practice. One limitation of this study is that the group surveyed was exclusively from one institution, and could be worth exploring more academic institutions in the area of nursing.

References:

Amit-Aharon, A., Melnikov, S., & Warshawski, S. (2020). The effect of evidence-based practice perception, information literacy self-efficacy, and academic motivation on nursing students’ future implementation of evidence-based practice. Journal of Professional Nursing, 36(6), 497–502. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.profnurs.2020.04.001

Kagan, M. (2022). Social Workers’ Attitudes toward Evidence-Based Practice: The Mediating Role of Work-Related Self-Efficacy. Social Work Research, 46(3), 217–228. https://doi.org/10.1093/swr/svac018

Research Updates

Previously when I wrote about my research I was exploring an idea from the lab I’m a part of at my institution. However my mentor and I decided to go for a different idea a couple months back and explore a subject that is more international. For my new project, we’ve decided to survey the Spanish population of speech pathology students currently in their last year of university. We want to ask them about their feelings of self efficacy in clinical practice for the motor speech population as well as their attitudes and understanding of evidence based practice. Evidence based practice has been a topic of discussion as of lately for the speech association in Spain since it is not commonly discussed and is very necessary for effective treatment. With this survey we will get a taste of what students know about evidence based practice and our research will be very telling of the capacity of evidence based practice in other countries such as Spain. I’m conducting the survey in Spanish and will be putting my translation skills to the test which I’m really looking forward to. At this point, the survey questions have been written and we’re now at the stage of translating and formatting it on qualtrics to disperse hopefully at the end of the month. It’s proven difficult to get replies from Spanish institutions so far, but we have 3 which have confirmed their participation in the study. I’m excited to see what the responses will be like for future clinicians!