Keeping Up To Date

Chapter 12

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.

Applying and Evaluating the Best Available Evidence

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).

Table 12-1 The evidence-based method
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.

Develop an Inquiring Mind

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.

Educational Prescriptions

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Jul 23, 2015 | Posted by in General Dentistry | Comments Off on Keeping Up To Date
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