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Understanding the impact of an evidence-based practice curriculum on oral health graduates

Grace Wai-Lin Wong, Murray Print, Tania Gerzina


Background: The explosion of health information accessible to consumers through multimedia has supported the merit and value of evidence-based practice (EBP). Both informed interest from patients and medico-legal considerations of patient care and safety have also contributed to the increased importance of EBP for health practitioners. An EBP curriculum was implemented at the [blinded]. The evaluation of the student perspectives was previously completed by using questionnaires and focus group interviews. Objectives: To further explore and analyse the potential impact of the EBP curriculum on [blinded] graduates’ clinical practice. Methods: Semi-structure interviews were conducted to allow for elaboration and clarification to assess understanding of oral health graduates’ perception of EBP. Graduates (n=12) from both the private and public sectors were invited to participate. Qualitative responses were transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis. Triangulation was used to cross-validate and confirm findings with previous quantitative data and focus group responses on providing a broader understanding of the subject. Results: Graduates reported they felt confident and were empowered by EBP in making clinical decisions. Challenges included limited online resources for literature search, lack of evidence in some aspects of dentistry, and gaining full-text access. Conclusion: The triangulation approach has enhanced the analysis and interpretation of the impact of the EBP curriculum on oral health graduates’ clinical practice. This study can serve as a pathfinder to introduce and implement EBP in other healthcare educational institutions and support translational science by bridging the gap between research and clinical practice.


evidence-based practice; triangulation; health education; clinical decision making; qualitative research

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