Reflections on the EBP course thus far

April 15, 2010 by

As part of the postgraduate EBP course, I included blogging as a platform for the students to share information and raise questions that arose as part of their course and the tasks they were expected to perform. It was envisaged that the students will reflect on their experiences and the knowldge and skills gained. Other students in the class could then read the coments and provide feedback in the form of comments, hopefully stimulating further reflection and discussion.

As part of this process I have learned alot. I have improved my technical skills about the use of social networks and the use of blogging as well as the technical aspects of co-ordinating and supporting a project like this. What was also  interesting was the large amount of thought put into  reflections and feedback given. I was also very conscious that the information I was providing had to be accurate and honest as it was open to public scrutiny. Personally I have grown in my own reflection process and I love the idea of sharing information in this manner.

I would like to hear the experiences of the students


Feedback on methodology section

April 12, 2010 by

On reading the methods section, I realise that articles are critiqued at different levels.

Levels of critiquing articles:

1. To critique the relevance of the article for your research question the PICO can be used. What is PICO?

A method for creating a clearly defined, searchable, answerable question to help effectively
search for evidence. PICO is an acronym that comes from the components of the question:

P: Patient characteristics/Population disorder):
(Population of interest – age, gender, ethnicity or

I: Intervention:

(Intervention of interest – intervention exposure to disease, risk behavior)

C: Comparison :



(Comparison of interest – Ex. Better than, no disease,Intervention placebo, no intervention, prognostic factor B, absence of risk factor)

O: Outcome:
(Outcome of interest – risk of disease, accuracy of diagnosis, rate of   occurrence with adverse outcome)                    


(Outcome of interest – risk of disease, accuracy of diagnosis, rate of   occurrence with adverse outcome)                    

2. To assess the relevance of the article to alter practice the READER by MacAuley can be used. What is READER?

The acronym READER stands for relevance, education, applicability, discrimination, evaluation and reaction.

Receiving feedback

April 9, 2010 by

The process of feedback is two way – giving and receiving. I find giving feedback a challenge as I believe that the receiver must benefit from the fedback but a lot is dependent on how the receiver accepts the feedback. Giving feedback today on the introduction section of the article was interesting as I tried to focus on the principles of feedback:

When providing feedback on the introdution I tried to ask specific questions about things that were not clear and got the student to try to clarify their thinking. Thus highlighting what they did, my reaction to how they did it, determined if that was the expected response and if not, how could we improve it.

Thus the feedback aimed to be specific, inquiring (trying to understand) and redirecting if necessary.

How did you experience the feedback?

Adding resources

April 8, 2010 by

Hi everyone. Hope the process has been going okay. I have added several resources related to EBP such as appraisal tools or good articles that explain various sections. Please check it out and if you have anything to add please feel free to do so

Writing the methods section of the review

April 5, 2010 by

The methods section should describe the procedure followed ina systematic way. Thus the method sections include information on:

1. literature searches,

2. criteria for inclusion of studies,

3.  validity assessment of the articles according to the hierarchy of evidence

4. methodological quality assessment

5.  a listing of the characteristics recorded for each study

Hope this guide helps

Feedback on writing the introduction

April 5, 2010 by

The typing down of my introduction by reducing it to the more essential points was very interesting and I learnt alot. This is very important and you get to know what you have to include and to exclude in the background. The fact that the introduction is the part of the study that tells that reader about the current study needs to give more sense and one will understand about the study before one  goes deep in the study.

This process was very interesting.

Reflection on the EBP course process thus far

March 26, 2010 by

Reflecting on the process of the course thus far with students was interesting as many people have said that students don’t always see the value of reflection. However, my experience with post graduate students was totally different and this could possibly be linked to the principles of adult learning as stated by Knowles:

1. Adults are autonomous and self-directed learners

2. They have a foundation of life expereinces and knowledge

3. THEy are goal-oriented and relevancy oriented

4. They are practical focussing on the aspects most relevant to them

This group of postgraduate students with a number of years of wrok experience and former education were good examples of adult learners as is evident in the reflection on the value of the EBP course thus far when students reported:

– they were able to apply the critical analysis of articles when writing the literature review for their thesis and it helped them to be more critical and structured.

– the process at first seemed time consuming but they could see the value for short and long term. Short term as it relates to writing up their thesis and long term as it relates to evaluating  their practice in the clinical setting.

– they found it hard at first but the systematic, structured approach helped them to narrow down the big unframed picture to a more focussed concise framed picture.

– some of the tools given in the resource hand out was not suitable fo rtheir articles but they could draw on knowledge and information obtained in their first year of study.

– the idea of reflecting throughout and sharing information and experiences assisted in creating a community of practice that will be ongoing even when the course is over. This creation of the community of practice became evident as the students kept  changingroles as their interest and their needs arose (some to stimulate discussion, or to ask for advice or to share experiences).

 Feel free to add on anything that I have left out or comment on the above.

Excitement in writing the introduction of an article

March 25, 2010 by

“Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power (Tao TE Ching). This is how you feel when you have mastered a new skill and writing for publication is a skill. And I think having structuring and good planning before hand facilitates the process. Always remember the crocodile activity.

Writing the introduction

March 21, 2010 by

Having published several articles I have come to realise that the introduction of an article is very important. Highlighting the importance of your study and why it should be done is very important. I thus want to offer this guide that I use when preparing an introduction to an article as a guide that you could use. Share your comments on how you found this as a guide.

The introduction:

Guide Your work
Establish common ground by contextualising the field or problem and making a general statement  
The current knowledge about the topic e.g. “Various studies have been conducted relating to ….”  
Previous studies may be summarised and reviewed  
Prepare the reader for the current study by highlighting the gaps  
Now present the purpose of the present research  

Why sytematic reviews and not RCT’s?

March 20, 2010 by

RCT’s were considered the highest level of evidence but when researchers started to review various studies it found that some of the descriptive or experimental studies were counducted better thus providing better information and thus in synthesising all this information, the systematic review tends to review a body of primary data using explicit methods to locate primary studies, and explicit criteria to assess their methodological quality. Because of this clear method the systematic review is preferred over the RCT.


Studies which are lower down the ranking are not always weak. It is dependent on what you are studying or researching. For instance, if you wanted to study risk factors for CDL, any ethics committee would quite rightly reject an RCT whereby you proposed that half of your subjects be exposed to the risk factors and others not! Here, you need a cohort, where you find a group those exposed to the risk factors by chance or their own choice and compare how they fare with another group who were not exposed or who did not have the risk factors present. 

 Although RCT’s may currently be considered the best method of providing evidence it is not always cost effective and not always suitable to be applied to real situations and large numbers and thus the research question will determine which level of evidence is best applied.