Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Medical Education and BioMed Central.

Open Access Research article

A systematic review of how studies describe educational interventions for evidence-based practice: stage 1 of the development of a reporting guideline

Anna C Phillips1*, Lucy K Lewis2, Maureen P McEvoy3, James Galipeau4, Paul Glasziou5, Marilyn Hammick6, David Moher7, Julie K Tilson8 and Marie T Williams9

Author Affiliations

1 School of Health Sciences, University of South Australia, GPO box 2471, Adelaide 5001, Australia

2 Health and Use of Time Group (HUT), Sansom Institute for Health Research, University of South Australia, GPO Box 2471, Adelaide 5001, Australia

3 International Centre for Allied Health Evidence (iCAHE), School of Health Sciences, University of South Australia, GPO box 2471, Adelaide 5001, Australia

4 Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Centre for Practice-Changing Research (CPRC), The Ottawa Hospital, 501 Smyth Rd, K1H 8 L6, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

5 Centre for Research in Evidence-Based Practice (CREBP), Bond University, University Drive, Robina, Queensland 4226, Australia

6 Bournemouth University, Royal London House, Christchurch Road, Bournemouth, Dorset, UK

7 Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Clinical Epidemiology Program, Centre for Practice-Changing Research (CPCR), The Ottawa Hospital, 501 Smyth Rd, K1H 8 L6, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

8 University of Southern California, Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy, 1540 Alcazar St, CHP155, Los Angeles 90089, USA

9 School of Population Health, Nutritional Physiology Research Centre (NPRC), University of South Australia, GPO Box 2471, Adelaide, 5001, Australia

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Medical Education 2014, 14:152  doi:10.1186/1472-6920-14-152

Published: 24 July 2014

Abstract

Background

The aim of this systematic review was to identify which information is included when reporting educational interventions used to facilitate foundational skills and knowledge of evidence-based practice (EBP) training for health professionals. This systematic review comprised the first stage in the three stage development process for a reporting guideline for educational interventions for EBP.

Methods

The review question was ‘What information has been reported when describing educational interventions targeting foundational evidence-based practice knowledge and skills?’

MEDLINE, Academic Search Premier, ERIC, CINAHL, Scopus, Embase, Informit health, Cochrane Library and Web of Science databases were searched from inception until October - December 2011. Randomised and non-randomised controlled trials reporting original data on educational interventions specific to developing foundational knowledge and skills of evidence-based practice were included.

Studies were not appraised for methodological bias, however, reporting frequency and item commonality were compared between a random selection of studies included in the systematic review and a random selection of studies excluded as they were not controlled trials. Twenty-five data items were extracted by two independent reviewers (consistency > 90%).

Results

Sixty-one studies met the inclusion criteria (n = 29 randomised, n = 32 non-randomised). The most consistently reported items were the learner’s stage of training, professional discipline and the evaluation methods used (100%). The least consistently reported items were the instructor(s) previous teaching experience (n = 8, 13%), and student effort outside face to face contact (n = 1, 2%).

Conclusion

This systematic review demonstrates inconsistencies in describing educational interventions for EBP in randomised and non-randomised trials. To enable educational interventions to be replicable and comparable, improvements in the reporting for educational interventions for EBP are required. In the absence of a specific reporting guideline, there are a range of items which are reported with variable frequency. Identifying the important items for describing educational interventions for facilitating foundational knowledge and skills in EBP remains to be determined. The findings of this systematic review will be used to inform the next stage in the development of a reporting guideline for educational interventions for EBP.

Keywords:
Systematic review; Evidence-based practice; Educational intervention; Reporting guidelines