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Evidence Based Practice & Critical Thinking: Course outline

“Evidence-based practice in psychology is the integration of the best available research with clinical expertise in the context of patient characteristics, and culture.

Course Objectives

  • To introduce students the concept of evidence based practice in physiotherapy.
  • To enhance the capability of the students to thoroughly review of the different databases and identify the level of evidence.
  • To enhance the knowledge and skills of the students for interpretation and understanding of research work
  • To introduce the concept of critical thinking in the process of decision making.
  • To enhance the level of clinical reasoning in the process of clinical decision making.

Course Outline

  1. Defining Evidence-based practice
  • Why we need evidence for better clinical decision making
  • What do we mean by ‘best evidence”

2. Getting started with evidence based practice

  • Formulating a clinical question – learning the PICO format
  • Searching for evidence (literature)
  • Critically appraise literature for validity
  • Implementing findings in clinical practice
  • Evaluate outcomes
  1. Differences between research and evidence
    • Research
    • Evidence based practice
    • Audit
  2. Appraising internet based evidence
  3. Grey literature
  4. The literature review process
  • Primary and secondary sources for literature review
  • Levels of evidence
    • Best evidence for diagnostic, prognostic and intervention questions
  • Clinical prediction rules
    • What are they
    • How to use them for diagnosing, prognosis and response to intervention
    • Validating CPRs
      1. Derivation of rule
      2. Validation of rule
      3. Impact analysis

Course Outline

7.Critically Appraised Topics (CAT)

  • Format of CAT
  • Distinguishing features and limitations

8.Evidence based clinical practice guidelines

  • Purpose of guidelines
  • Steps of developing guidelines
  • Limitations of guidelines
  • Organizations of clinical guidelines

9.Overview of types of research

  • Basic and applied
  • Quantitative and qualitative
  • Experimental and non experimental
  • Translational research

10.Experimental studies

  • Randomized control trials
  • Single subject designs
  • Quasi experimental studies

11.Exploratory studies

  • Cohorts
  • Case control studies
  • Historical research
  • Methodological studies

12.Descriptive studies

  • Developmental studies
  • Normative studies
  • Case studies

Course Outline

13.Synthesis of research

  • Meta analysis of exploratory and experimental studies
  • Systematic reviews

14.Concept of sensitivity and specificity in a diagnostic test

  • Sensitivity and specificity in literature search
  • Search engines and databases
  • CINAHL, PubMed, PEDro
  • APTA’s Hooked on evidence

15.The PEDro scale of assessing quality of a study

16.Lab activities

  • Literature search strategies of diagnostic, prognostic and intervention related questions
  • Clinical queries

17.Critical appraisal

  • Appraising evidence about diagnostic tests
  • Appraising evidence about prognosis
  • Appraising evidence about intervention

18. Evaluating the Evidence (Economic Analysis).

19.Building Evidence in Practice.

20.Practice Guidelines, Algorithms, and Clinical Pathways.

21.Critical thinking 

  • Importance of critical thinking
  • Separation of issues from the conclusions
  • Identification of ambiguous arguments
  • Identification of assumptions
  • Understanding rational fallacies
  • Evaluation of evidence
  • Looking for rival causes (alternative hypothesis)
  • Evaluation of data