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Edward Purssell, RGN, RSCN, MSc, PhD
King’s College London, London, UK
Levin RF, Feldman HR, editors. Teaching evidence-based practice in nursing: a guide for academic and clinical settings. New York, NY: Springer, 2006.
As a teacher of evidence-based practice, it can sometimes be difficult to know exactly how best to teach the subject. Waiting for student evaluations is one way, but this occurs somewhat late and lacks reliability and validity. Another way, of course, is to attend one of the excellent courses run at centres such as that in Oxford, but not everyone can do this. However, as befits 21st century Britain, there is a third way, which is to use resources such as this book written specifically about how to teach evidence-based practice.
Composed of 4 parts, the body of the book provides general strategies for teaching and specific ideas for teaching in academic and practice settings. Because this is an American book, some details of the practice elements are not necessarily transferable, although the principles that they discuss, such as how to integrate evidence into practice, certainly are.
The particular strengths of this book lie in the earlier sections on general and academic teaching. The first of these, on the basics of teaching evidenced-based practice, contains everything you would expect, including how to devise questions, undertake a literature search, and use various methods of synthesis. Literature searching is a big subject, particularly for a book that has to cover so many different areas of practice, and while there are useful tips, it is probably a bit brief for most readers.
Chapters covering meta-analysis and meta-synthesis are very good. The latter subject, which is a method of summarising qualitative research, was particularly interesting because this topic not well covered in many other texts, and it is well supported by the reprinting of an actual example and subsequent correspondence. Meta-analysis is also well covered, and the authors even manage to show …