Evidence‐informed vs evidence‐based practice educational interventions for improving knowledge, attitudes, understanding and behaviour towards the application of evidence into practice: A comprehensive systematic review of undergraduate students

Elizabeth A. Kumah, Robert Mcsherry, Josette Bettany‐saltikov, Paul Van Schaik, Sharon Hamilton, Julie Hogg, Vicki Whittaker

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Abstract

Abstract
Background
To produce graduates with strong knowledge and skills in the application of evidence into healthcare practice, it is imperative that all undergraduate health and social care students are taught, in an efficient manner, the processes involved in applying evidence into practice. The two main concepts that are linked to the application of evidence into practice are “evidence-based practice” and “evidence-informed practice.” Globally, evidence-based practice is regarded as the gold standard for the provision of safe and effective healthcare. Despite the extensive awareness of evidence-based practice, healthcare practitioners continue to encounter difficulties in its implementation. This has generated an ongoing international debate as to whether evidence-based practice should be replaced with evidence-informed practice, and which of the two concepts better facilitate the effective and consistent application of evidence into healthcare practice.

Objectives
The primary objective of this systematic review was to evaluate and synthesize literature on the effectiveness of evidence-informed practice versus evidence-based practice educational interventions for improving knowledge, attitudes, understanding, and behavior of undergraduate health and social care students toward the application of evidence into practice. Specifically, we planned to answer the following research questions: (1) Is there a difference (i.e., difference in content, outcome) between evidence-informed practice and evidence-based practice educational interventions? (2) Does participating in evidence-informed practice educational interventions relative to evidence-based practice educational interventions facilitate the application of evidence into practice (as measured by, e.g., self-reports on effective application of evidence into practice)? (3) Do both evidence-informed practice and evidence-based practice educational interventions targeted at undergraduate health and social care students influence patient outcomes (as measured by, e.g., reduced morbidity and mortality, absence of nosocomial infections)? (4) What factors affect the impact of evidence-informed practice and evidence-based practice educational interventions (as measured by, e.g., course content, mode of delivery, multifaceted interventions, standalone intervention)?

Search Methods
We utilized a number of search strategies to identify published and unpublished studies: (1) Electronic databases: we searched Academic Search Complete, Academic search premier, AMED, Australian education index, British education index, Campbell systematic reviews, Canada bibliographic database (CBCA Education), CINAHL, Cochrane Library, Database of Abstracts of Reviews on Effectiveness, Dissertation Abstracts International, Education Abstracts, Education complete, Education full text: Wilson, ERIC, Evidence-based program database, JBI database of systematic reviews, Medline, PsycInfo, Pubmed, SciELO (Scientific Electronic Library Online), and Scopus; (2) A web search using search engines such as Google and Google scholar; (3) Grey literature search: we searched OpenGrey (System for Information on Grey Literature in Europe), System for information on Grey Literature, the Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness, and Virginia Henderson Global Nursing e-Repository; (4) Hand searching of journal articles; and (5) Tracking bibliographies of previously retrieved studies. The searches were conducted in June 2019.

Selection Criteria
We planned to include both quantitative (including randomized controlled trials, non-randomized controlled trials, quasi-experimental, before and after studies, prospective and retrospective cohort studies) and qualitative primary studies (including, case series, individual case reports, and descriptive cross-sectional studies, focus groups, and interviews, ethnography, phenomenology, and grounded theory), that evaluate and compare the effectiveness of any formal evidence-informed practice educational intervention to evidence-based practice educational intervention. The primary outcomes were evidence-informed practice and evidence-based practice knowledge, attitudes, understanding, and behavior. We planned to include, as participants, undergraduate pre-registration health and social care students from any geographical area.

Data Collection and Analysis
Two authors independently screened the search results to assess articles for their eligibility for inclusion. The screening involved an initial screening of the title and abstracts, and subsequently, the full-text of selected articles. Discrepancies were resolved through discussion or consultation with a third author. We found no article eligible for inclusion in this review.

Main Results
No studies were found which were eligible for inclusion in this review. We evaluated and excluded 46 full-text articles. This is because none of the 46 studies had evaluated and compared the effectiveness of evidence-informed practice educational interventions with evidence-based practice educational interventions. Out of the 46 articles, 45 had evaluated solely, the effectiveness of evidence-based practice educational interventions and 1 article was on evidence-informed practice educational intervention. Hence, these articles were excluded as they did not meet the inclusion criteria.

Authors' Conclusions
There is an urgent need for primary studies evaluating the relative effectiveness of evidence-informed practice and evidence-based practice educational interventions targeted at improving undergraduate healthcare students' competencies regarding the application of evidence into practice. Such studies should be informed by current literature on the concepts (i.e., evidence-informed practice and evidence-based practice) to identify the differences, similarities, as well as appropriate content of the educational interventions. In this way, the actual effect of each of the concepts could be determined and their effectiveness compared.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1233
Number of pages39
JournalCampbell Systematic Reviews
Volume18
Issue number2
Early online date16 Apr 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2022

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