Methods of teaching evidence-based practice: a systematic review

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Background: To identify the effectiveness of different teaching modalities on student evidence-based practice (EBP) competency. Methods: Electronic searches were conducted in MEDLINE, Cochrane central register of controlled trials, PsycINFO, CINAHL, ERIC, A + Education and AEI through to November 2021. We included randomised-controlled trials comparing EBP teaching modes on EBP knowledge, skills, attitudes or behaviour in undergraduate and post-graduate health professions education. Risk of bias was determined using the Cochrane risk of bias tool. Results: Twenty-one studies were included in the review. Overall, no single teaching modality was identified as being superior to others at significantly increasing learner competency in EBP. Changes in learner knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviour were conflicting, with studies either reporting no change, or a moderate increase in EBP behavioural outcomes when directly compared to another intervention. Conclusion: Current evidence highlights the lack of a single teaching modality that is superior than others regarding learner competency in EBP, regardless of health professions discipline or graduate status. The poor quality, heterogeneity of interventions and outcome measures limited conclusions. Further research should focus on the development of high-quality studies and use of psychometrically validated tools to further explore the impact of different EBP teaching modalities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number742
Number of pages26
JournalBMC Medical Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Evidence-based medicine
  • Evidence-based practice
  • Medical education
  • Systematic review

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