JOURNAL ARTICLE

Applying evidence-based health care to musculoskeletal patients as an educational strategy for chiropractic interns (a one-group pretest-posttest study)

Charles E Fernandez, Paul M Delaney
Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2004, 27 (4): 253-61
15148464

OBJECTIVE: To describe and measure the effectiveness of a problem-based educational strategy for teaching evidence-based health care (EBHC) to chiropractic interns, which focused on the development and appraisal of answerable clinical questions using actual musculoskeletal patients.

METHODS: A 1-group pretest-posttest design (simple panel design) with investigator-blinded survey administration was used to measure effectiveness of educational activities using adult learning theory with a study population of interns (n=31) at a chiropractic college (Los Angeles College of Chiropractic, Southern California University of Health Sciences [LACC/SCUHS]) teaching clinic. Activities included 2 workshops on constructing clinical questions and critical appraisal of published research and independent patient-based EBHC assignments. A qualitative self-assessment survey was administered before and after a 6-week period of EBHC activities to measure their effectiveness. Sign tests and paired t tests were utilized to determine P values for significant difference of score results.

RESULTS: Eighty-one percent of subjects completed the pretest-posttest surveys. All survey item responses showed an average increase in subjects' self-rating of skills and attitudes from pretest to posttest. There were statistically significant differences in interns' self-assessed ability to construct an answerable clinical question and appraise research articles and apply them to patient management, as well as their rating of importance of EBHC in patient decision making.

CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study suggest that having chiropractic interns apply EBHC to actual musculoskeletal patients along with attending EBHC workshops had a positive impact on interns' perceived ability to practice EBHC.

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