Improving evidence-based practice education in healthcare courses: A participatory action research multiple-case study

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This paper synthesises the results of three participatory action research (PAR) studies undertaken to improve the integration of evidence-based practice (EBP) education in three undergraduate health courses at one Australian university: Bachelor of Nursing, Bachelor of Occupational Therapy, and Bachelor of Physiotherapy. The PAR process with interested academics uncovered a range of EBP education strengths and weaknesses in the three courses. Common themes were evident, which are likely to be applicable in other similar courses. Identified weaknesses included a lack of explicit teaching about the meaning, principles, steps, and importance of EBP, partly stemming from a lack of shared understanding. A relative lack of emphasis on certain EBP steps was also noted, particularly the first step of ‘asking’ questions. A lack of communication with workplace learning (WPL) supervisors about how to facilitate EBP was also noted, raising concerns about variable EBP-education quality across WPL settings. Opportunities for improvement were identified by academics in each course, across multiple subjects and year levels. In our experience, PAR has been a highly constructive approach to EBP curriculum improvement. We encourage consideration of a PAR approach for addressing similarly complex curriculum challenges.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Higher Education Advances
PublisherUniversitat Politecnica de Valencia
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9788490486610
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event5th International Conference on Higher Education Advances: HEAd'19 - Universitat Politècnica de València, Valencia, Spain
Duration: 26 Jun 201928 Jun 2019
Conference number: 5 (conference program) (Conference website)


Conference5th International Conference on Higher Education Advances
OtherThis conference is an excellent forum for researchers and practitioners to exchange ideas, experiences, opinions and research results relating to the preparation of students, teaching/learning methodologies and the organization of educational systems.
Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following topic areas:

Innovative materials and new tools for teaching
Teaching and learning experiences
Educational technology (e.g., virtual labs, e-learning)
Evaluation and assessment of student learning
Emerging technologies in learning (e.g., MOOC, OER, gamification)
Scientific and research education
Experiences outside the classroom (e.g., practicums, mobility)
New teaching/learning theories and models
Globalization in education and education reforms
Education economics
Entrepreneurship and learning for employment
Education accreditation, quality and assessment
Competency-based learning and skill assessment
Internet address


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