Keeping Up To Date
The aim of this chapter is to outline a number of strategies to help your practice become more evidence-based.
After completing this chapter you will be aware of a number of strategies that will assist you in practising in an evidence-based manner.
In this book we have attempted to illustrate a practical approach to evidence-based practice. This has been based on the 5 As of the evidence-based approach (Table 12-1).
|ASK||Asking answerable questions|
|ACQUIRE||Searching for the best evidence|
|APPRAISE||Critically appraising the evidence|
|APPLY||Applying the evidence|
|ASSESS||Evaluating the outcome|
While this text can help you develop the first three elements, the final two need definite action on your part. This is because it is the application of the best available evidence in practice that will bring benefits to you and your patients.
Evidence-based practice is all about asking questions, so develop an enquiring mind. Healthcare professionals, as a whole, tend to be patriarchal. Consciously or not, we advocate a plan for a patient or a belief about a condition rather than enquire into the best possible approach. For example, most of us will say “I think …”, “I believe …”, “The facts are …”, “Experience says …”, and “My colleagues always …”. Enquiry, on the other hand, is characterised by such statements as: “I wonder whether there is a better way?”, “Should I keep doing this?” and “Why have I always …?”. When you find yourself making advocacy statements, you may wish to question what you thought was “true”. While advocacy tends to uphold the status quo, enquiry leads to new knowledge and new insights. It keeps you up to date and patients appreciate the fact that you are making the effort to do so.