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This book addresses steps 4 and 5 of evidence-based practice, offering ideas on how to integrate best evidence into practice and subsequently evaluate and reflect on your performance.
In the chapter on types of evidence, Debra Humphries presents a range of research designs, helping the reader to understand how different research questions need different approaches to research. She reminds us that the well known hierarchy of research evidence is appropriate for positivistic research designs, such as randomised controlled trials, which helps to place the utility of quasi-experimental and qualitative evidence into context. Types of evidence are explained with useful examples for those who are new to research design. Similarly, Rumona Dickson presents a basic roadmap to systematic reviewing that could be easily understood by the beginner.
The chapter on information sourcing by Brice et al raises an important point about searching, describing how the searching and retrieval process is influenced by different learning styles, different approaches to information seeking behaviour, and our prior knowledge of the topic. Clinical effectiveness, care pathways, guidelines and protocols are usefully outlined by Steve Page and David Benton, although the examples will be most relevant to a UK audience. The chapter on clinical audit is comprehensive and Gayle Garland has managed to present this in terms that are applicable to healthcare systems in different countries. Basic principles of change management are concisely covered by Stephanie Carson, who has saved those who are new to the field from the onerous task of wading through the management literature. The final chapter on ethical change clearly defines ethics, beliefs, and values in terms of how they are related to evidence-based practice. Gill Collinson presents examples of how evidence can be included in decision making, public policy, and resource allocation.
The book aims to help practitioners to reflect on their behaviour, and there are useful exercises in some sections that promote reflection. It provides a balanced view of a fast moving field and will be useful to those who are new to evidence-based practice.
Hamer S, Collinson G, editors. Achieving evidence-based practice: a handbook for practitioners. Edinburgh: Baillìere Tindall Elsevier, 2005.