Does the theory of planned behaviour explain allied health professionals' evidence-based practice behaviours? A focus group study

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Background: Research suggests that allied health professionals agree with evidence-based practice (EBP); however, implementation of research findings into clinical practice is poor. Interventions aimed at improving EBP have been largely unsuccessful. Implementation science research suggests that a theory-driven approach is critical when attempting to modify behaviour of healthcare professionals. Purpose: To explain allied health professionals' EBP behaviours utilising the theory of planned behaviour. Methods: Focus groups. Results: Ten focus groups with a total of 49 participants were conducted and consisted of discipline-specific and multidisciplinary teams. Participants had positive attitudinal beliefs but low normative beliefs, particularly in relation to the perception that the workplace did not value engagement in EBP activities. The organisational context was a strong moderator of perceived behavioural control, more so than internal variables such as skills. An additional theme was identified and related to the sense of dissonance participants experienced due to their awareness of the knowledge-behaviour gap. Conclusion: This study found that allied health professionals have positive attitudes towards EBP but low normative beliefs and low perceived behavioural control. Organisation-specific factors outside the control of the participants were found to have the greatest impact on intention to participate in EBP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E43-E51
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Allied Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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