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Development and validation of the competence in evidence based practice questionnaire (EBP-COQ) among nursing students

Maria Ruzafa-Martinez1*, Lidon Lopez-Iborra1, Teresa Moreno-Casbas2 and Manuel Madrigal-Torres3

Author Affiliations

1 Nursing Department, Faculty of Nursing, University of Murcia, Edificio D. Campus de Espinardo, 30100, Murcia, Spain

2 Nursing and Healthcare Research Unit (Investén-isciii). Instituto de Salud Carlos III. C/Monforte de Lemos, 5. Pabellón 13. Sótano 2, 28029, Madrid, Spain

3 Universitary General Hospital Reina Sofia. General Surgical Unit, Avda. Intendente Jorge Palacios, 1, 30003, Murcia, Spain

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BMC Medical Education 2013, 13:19  doi:10.1186/1472-6920-13-19

Published: 7 February 2013



Nursing educators need rigorously developed instruments to assess competency in evidence based practice (EBP) at undergraduate level. This concept is defined as the capability to choose and use an integrated combination of knowledge, skills and attitudes with the intention to develop a task in a certain context. Also, we understand that EBP is gaining knowledge and skills, as well as increasing positive attitudes toward EBP that will promote a change in behaviour to implement EBP in practice. This study aims to develop a psychometric test of the Evidence Based Practice Evaluation Competence Questionnaire (EBP-COQ) among undergraduate nursing students.


The questionnaire was developed by item generation through a review of scientific literature and focus groups. The instrument was validated in terms of content validity through an expert review. The EBP-COQ was administered to a cohort of nursing students (n =100) to evaluate test reliability and select the best items. Psychometric properties of the final instrument were assessed in a sample of 261 nursing students.


The EBP-COQ consisted of 25 items. A factorial analysis grouped the items into the three categories that define competence relating to EBP: attitude, knowledge and skills. Cronbach’s alpha was 0.888 for the entire questionnaire. The factor solution explained 55.55% of the variance.


EBP-COQ appears to measure with adequate reliability the attributes of undergraduate nursing students’ competence in EBP. The instrument is quick to disseminate and easy to score, making it a suitable instrument for nursing educators to evaluate students’ self-perceived competence in EBP.

Competence; Evidence-based practice; Undergraduate nursing; Questionnaire; Validation