Strategies for teaching evidence-based practice in nursing education: a thematic literature review
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionBMC Medical Education. 2018, 18 (1). 10.1186/s12909-018-1278-z
Background: Evidence-based practice (EBP) is imperative for ensuring patient safety. Although teaching strategies to enhance EBP knowledge and skills are recommended, recent research indicates that nurses may not be well prepared to apply EBP. A three-level hierarchy for teaching and learning evidence-based medicine is suggested, including the requirement for interactive clinical activities in EBP teaching strategies. This literature review identifies the teaching strategies for EBP knowledge and skills currently used in undergraduate nursing education. We also describe students’ and educators’ experiences with learning outcomes and barriers. Methods: We conducted literature searches using Medline, Embase, CINAHL, ERIC and Academic Search Premier. Six qualitative studies and one mixed-method study met the inclusion criteria and were critically evaluated based on the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme. Using Braun and Clarke’s six phases, the seven studies were deductively and thematically analysed to discover themes. Results: Four teaching strategy themes were identified, including subthemes within each theme: i.e., interactive teaching strategies; interactive and clinical integrated teaching strategies; learning outcomes; and barriers. Although four studies included a vague focus on teaching EBP principles, they all included research utilisation and interactive teaching strategies. Reported learning outcomes included enhanced analytical and critical skills and using research to ensure patient safety. Barriers included challenging collaborations, limited awareness of EBP principles and poor information literacy skills. Conclusion: Four of the seven analysed studies included a vague focus on the use of EBP teaching strategies. Interactive teaching strategies are used, but primary strategies focus on searching for and critically appraising research for practice-based application. Although this review included a relatively small sample of literature, the findings indicate a need for more qualitative research investigating interactive and clinically integrated teaching strategies towards further enhancing EBP undergraduate nursing students’ knowledge and skills.
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