The following paper is an analysis of key elements of a systematic peer reviewed article. The analysis includes the validity and reliability of the study and the significance of the results. Finally, the paper provides article’s potential impact on clinical practice. The article under review is, ‘Effectiveness of training in evidence-based medicine skills for healthcare professionals: A systematic review’.
Key Elements of the Article
Nowadays, the need for providing patient-centered care that is informed by the best research evidence has increased. As a result, there have been evolutionary progresses in the application of evidence-based medicine (EbM). Thus, Hecht, Buhse, and Meyer (2016) carried out a study to determine the effectiveness of training in evidence-based medicine skills for health providers. The key elements of the article are the background, methodology, and results.
The background element comprises of the studies that have been carried out in past to examine the application of EbM in clinical practice. It provides a review of the implication of applying EbM. The review established that different approaches are applied to teach EbM such as attending conferences, journal clubs and attending courses.
In any study, research design plays a critical role in determining the success of the research. It is through the study design that valid and reliable results can be obtained and thereof applied in the drawing inferences. In relation to the method of study, the research by Hecht et al. (2016) was a systematic review in which information obtained in earlier studies was analyzed to explore the effectiveness of training in evidence-based medicine. The data collection involved an in-depth search to identify studies that related to the topic from electronic databases. The electronic databases used included Science direct, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, PubMed, ERIC and Cochrane Library. These databases provide comprehensive peer-reviewed articles that cover diverse fields of healthcare delivery. The researchers used randomized controlled, before-after, and controlled clinical trials to carry out the review. The trials entailed the assessment of the abstracts and the titles of the identified articles. The inclusion criterion was restricted to articles published before September 2014. Also, the articles were supposed to be published in either English or Germany languages. Research questions that could be answered by the systematic literature review guided the study.
Data extraction and management
It is also a critical element of the article that outlines the measures used to extract data and the subsequent data management processes. For instance, it outlines the use of a standardized data extraction form based on CONSORT statement.
The articles identified were 61. However, after the trials, only 13 articles were included in the study. The 13 articles were attained through different inclusion processes. For example, four articles were incorporated based on randomized controlled trials; two relied on controlled clinical trials while the remaining seven were obtained by application of before-after trials. The results showed that the duration of EbM courses varied from five to 48 hours. The key elements of EbM training were:
- Asking questions that can be answered easily.
- Use of appropriate sources for collecting information and in-depth analysis of the identified scientific literature.
- Critical analysis of the selected publications on key components.
- Implementation of EbM in daily clinical practice.
- Communication of the trial results to the concerned parties, i.e. patients and consumers.
Adherence to the elements was found to increase skills and knowledge of the healthcare professionals. EbM training was found to have mixed impacts on attitudes of the health professionals. For example, it was reported that there was no significant improvement after the training; however, some trials indicated higher scores on attitudes after the training.
Validity of the Studies Used and the Significance of the Results
The validity of a study depends on the methods applied to collect data. According to Golafshani (2003), validity is the appropriateness of the study design. Through a valid method of data collection, significant results can be obtained. In this study, application of systematic review and focus on trusted databases that contain peer-reviewed articles enhanced the validity of the research. The databases provided comprehensive data from past studies carried out in the area of health care. Besides, the systematic review was supplemented by the opinion of experts such as the authors of the identified articles. The process gave credence to the study and hence increased the validity of the process.
Therefore, the results obtained from the study could be generalized and hence applied in the design and implementation of EbM programs. Also, the results provided a basis for understanding how the EbM can lead to positive attitude change among healthcare professionals in order to enhance care delivery.
Reliability of the Studies Used
Reliability is the extent to which a study can obtain consistent results over time. It is the accurate representation of the population under the study. Golafshani (2003) noted that it focuses on the ability to achieve repeatability of the results if different methodologies are employed. Concerning the current article, the reliability of the study was influenced by the application of the systematic review of the studies in the selected databases. However, the reliability was negatively affected by the reliance on the experts’ opinion which in many cases can vary considerably due to personal bias. However, application of suitable sampling procedure can help to overcome the challenge. As noted, the use of the research design ensured that results about the effectiveness of EbM could be generalized and applied in clinical practice to better the delivery of healthcare.
Potential Impact of Article on Clinical Practice
Decision making in health care delivery plays a critical role in the promotion of best practices. According to Hecht et al. (2016), evidence-based medicine serves as a prerequisite for making the best decisions in the delivery of health care. Khan and Coomarasamy (2006) defined evidence-based medicine as, “the integration of best research evidence with clinical expertise and patient values” (p. 7). Patients’ preferences are the values and morals of the patients. EbM is an evolutionary progress of knowledge concerning basic clinical practices. Haynes, Devereaux, and Guyatt (2002) noted that it results in a patient-centered treatment and enhances scientific literacy. Therefore, the study on the effectiveness of the EbM has a great impact on clinical practice. It is worth noting that EbM does not focus on physicians only, but it also incorporates skills for other healthcare professionals such as nurses and health educators.
Thus, the findings of the study provide a basis for institutions to advance care delivery by application of EbM elements in the training of healthcare providers. Also, the article offers basic knowledge on the measures that can be adopted to change the attitudes of healthcare professionals and the key components that can be applied in EbM training to transform the delivery of healthcare. Furthermore, past studies reviewed in the article show that EbM training plays a critical role in the enhancement of scientific knowledge and skills to advance customer-centered clinical practice.
Golafshani, N. (2003). Understanding reliability and validity in qualitative research. The Qualitative Report, 8(4), 597-606.
Haynes, R. B., Devereaux, P. J., & Guyatt, G. H. (2002). Clinical expertise in the era of evidence-based medicine and patient choice. Evidence Based Medicine, 7(2), 36-38.
Hecht, L., Buhse, S., & Meyer, G. (2016). Effectiveness of training in evidence- based medicine skills for healthcare professionals: a systematic review. BMC Medical Education, 16(103), 1-16.
Khan, K. S., & Coomarasamy, A. (2006). A hierarchy of effective teaching and learning to acquire competence in evidenced-based medicine. BMC Medical Education, 6(1), 1-7.