Clinical Effectiveness, Clinical Governance, Risk Management, Benchmarking - Essence of Care, NHS Knowledge and Skills Framework, and Evidence-based Practice are but a few of the terms that have now become part of everyday practice for health professionals. Such terms appear to be open to interpretation and confusion. This module focuses on Evidence-based Practice and makes explicit the skills required to search for the best available evidence and to critically appraise such evidence so that it can be used to inform and to promote clinically effective care and decision- making. The demand for evidence-based practice has never been greater. Increased clinical effectiveness requires all health care practitioners to base practice on evidence in order to meet the government agenda for clinical governance. Health care practitioners are also faced with greater demands from patients.
The focus of this module is on the critical evaluation of evidence and how it can be used to inform and increase the effectiveness of a broad range of health care interventions. It has relevance for all health care professionals, but is particularly useful for those who participate in clinical decision- making, managers, educators and researchers.
This module is undertaken in two parts and spans a period of two semesters. The first part of the module begins in the month of September during semester one of the University’s academic year. This part of the module comprises the taught component and it is during this period that students are required to identify problems as a result of critical examination of practice and to frame appropriate questions to initiate a search to find possible answers based on the best evidence available. In addition students will initiate a search strategy using the Internet and other electronic and non-electronic sources of information to locate appropriate sources of evidence.
During the second part of the module, apart from attending two workshops, students are required to undertake an in-depth critical and analytical appraisal of the evidence and to write up their dissertations.
Content and Modules
Level 6 (Undergraduate)
Pre-requisites: Students must have completed at least 2 level 6 modules.
Students must have an Athens Password
The major aim of this module is to enable participants to explore the concept of Evidence Based Practice. Furthermore, it aims to provide participants with the key skills to identify clinical problems, construct questions and to find, critically appraise and interpret the best evidence to provide the most appropriate care to their patients/clients.
Identify the origins and key components of evidence-based practice and to critically analyse the political and economic context of evidence-based practice within an interprofessional arena;
Analyse and evaluate the relative strengths of different types and sources of evidence;
Identify problems as a result of critical examination of practice and frame appropriate questions to initiate a search in order to find possible answers based on the best evidence available;
Initiate a search strategy using the Internet and other electronic and non-electronic sources of information to locate appropriate sources of evidence;
Identify existing evidence and explore its use in clinical decision making;
Critically appraise the advantages and disadvantages of a wide range of information sources;
Appreciate the concept of meta-analysis and its role in the development of systematic reviews;
Critically appraise evidence generated from randomized controlled trials, naturalistic research, systematic reviews and clinical guidelines;
Explore a number of statistical concepts vital to the understanding of systematic reviews and quantitative data generated from primary research.
The module learning outcomes identified above have been mapped against QAA Prescribed Outcomes, the Dimensions of the NHS Knowledge and Skills Framework, QAA Academic & Practitioner Standards (Honours Degree) and Graduate Key Skills. The ‘map’ can be found at the end of the Module Specification.
Whilst the module outcomes are mapped against the KSF dimensions, responsibility regarding levels of attainment remains with the practitioners and their managers.
Participants will be required to identify an aspect of practice relevant to their particular client group and present an in-depth critical and analytical appraisal of the evidence-base underpinning this practice. This will consist of an 8000-10000 word dissertation.
Within the assignment the participant will be expected to:
Identify one aspect of practice then identify a problem emanating from the critical examination of that practice.
Construct a question(s) pertaining to that problem.
Use the identified question(s) to conduct a thorough search for the best available evidence using a wide range of information sources (The search strategy should be documented and must contain details of how the participant progressed from sensitivity to specificity using wildcards, Boolean operators, search filters and inclusion and exclusion criteria).
Critically appraise at least 10-12 sources of information (primary research, systematic reviews and clinical guidelines) emanating from the search. Students have a choice regarding the critical appraisal tool(s) that will be used to appraise the literature. One such tool is that developed by the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP).
Explain and interpret any statistical concepts found in the information source.
Compare and contrast own experience of actual practice with that which the best evidence suggests is most effective.
Access and critically reflect on material available in books, journals and electronic databases.
Construct a strategy for disseminating the outcomes of the in-depth critical and analytical appraisal of the evidence and its implications for practice to a wider audience. (e.g. PowerPoint presentation, Poster presentation, Video presentation).
Dates of attendance:
*Please note that all Semester 2 dates for this module will be taught at UCS Ipswich, if you study at Bury or Great Yarmouth in Semester 1 you will need to take Semester 2 at Ipswich.
Great Yarmouth Students
Semester 1 (Great Yarmouth*) Semester 2 (Ipswich)
Semester 1 (Ipswich*) Semester 2 (Ipswich)
Semester 1 (Bury*) Semester 2 (Ipswich)
For further details please contact the module leader:
T: 01473 338529