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Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this mixed methods study was to identify students’ engagement and implementation of EBP competencies after exposure to EBP content in an interprofessional online research course. In this research, a diverse, convenience sample of nursing, respiratory care, and social work students were selected. The results aim to assist educators in preparing the next generation for their first professional role in providing care using the best evidence. The research questions that guided the study were: (1) What are the levels of practice, attitude, knowledge and skill regarding EBP among the sample? (2) What are the barriers and facilitators to acquiring EBP competency? (3) What are the differences in EBP attitudes, knowledge, and skills between the diverse disciplines in the sample? Methods: This descriptive mixed methods study employed a cross sectional design that allowed comparisons of programs and the different levels within the program. Quantitative data was collected using the S-EBPQ survey, allowing participants’ the opportunity to self-report on the practice, attitude, and knowledge/skills. Qualitative data was collected through two focus groups of approximately six to ten students from the three programs. Results: Data showed that students within the three selected disciplines had a positive attitude towards EBP. Theme analysis supported this view as participants noted EBP impacts patient safety and quality care. Barriers identified included, “lack of resources, use of research language interchangeably with EBP, quick exposure to EBP and confusion among EBP practices in the clinical setting.” Participants had an awareness of EBP and recognized the value of EBP. However, there may be ways to improve the implementation of EBP throughout the learning process while students are in undergraduate studies. Conclusion: Using an interprofessional online research course to introduce students to EBP was successful. Providing an interprofessional approach to teaching EBP will provide support the implementation of EBP competencies. Further development of additional interprofessional EBP courses or activities should be considered. This study found that if interprofessional care teams’ work together and use the EBP process in their courses it will improve student perceived value of EBP.

Author Bio(s)

Jennifer L. Gresham-Anderson, EdD, RRT, RRT-NPS, is an Assistant Professor and Chair of the Respiratory Care Program in the Robert D. & Carol Gunn College of Health Sciences & Human Serves at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, TX.

Kathleen M. Williamson, MSN, Ph.D., RN served as Professor and Chair of the Wilson School of Nursing in the Robert D. & Carol Gunn College of Health Sciences & Human Serves at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, TX from 2015 - 2018.

Satya N. Ayinagadda, MSW, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Social Work Department in the Robert D. & Carol Gunn College of Health Sciences & Human Serves at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, TX.

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