RHSC 501
Evidence for Practice

Course Description
Development of knowledge and skills for critical review and use of evidence in making practice decisions that lead to the best client outcomes. The effective use of evidence in practice including required background research, methods of synthesizing information and the practicalities in applying evidence to practice.

Intended Learners
Learners will be occupational therapists, physical therapists or practitioners in other health disciplines who want to acquire the knowledge and skills to understand and apply evidence in practice. They may have some knowledge about to how to obtain information but need to further develop and refine their skills to apply evidence appropriately to practice.

Course Objectives
Upon successful completion of this course learners should be able to:

  1. Distinguish different forms of evidence for practice.
  2. Construct answerable clinical questions.
  3. Create search plans to locate evidence relevant to rehabilitation practice.
  4. Appraise evidence from different sources.
  5. Integrate evidence to inform decision-making.
  6. Develop strategies for using evidence to inform policy and practice.
  7. Disseminate findings from a systematic search of research evidence.

Course Overview
This course emphasizes the development of the knowledge and skills that learners require in using the best evidence available to inform their practice. In doing so, some of the questions explored in the course include:

  • What is evidence and how is it developed?
  • How do the knowledge and skills required for evidence-based practice and research differ?
  • What are relative merits of electronic search databases in searching for evidence?
  • How are health and clinical outcomes measured?
  • What tools exist for evaluating quantitative and qualitative research?
  • How are clinical practice guidelines, algorithms and clinical pathways related to evidence-based  practice?
  • What does effective evidence-based communication require?
  • What is the role of evidence-based policy in evidence-based practice?  

 Assignments
Three successive course assignments require learners to apply the concepts learned and build the skills required for evidence-based practice. They include carrying out a systematic topic review, obtaining and reviewing data, and developing strategies for using evidence in practice. Some of these Critically Appraised Topics (CATs) are posted on our website.

Course Readings
The course readings consist of the textbook below as well as selected journal articles and resources which are available through the course website. The textbook can be purchased from online distributors/booksellers. Please visit the Current Learners Page for further information.

Required Textbook
Hoffman, T., Bennett, S., & de Mar, C. (Eds.). (2013). Evidence-based practice across the health professions (2nd ed.). Australia: Churchill Livingstone.