Credentials Display

Erica Baarends, PhD, OT; Marcel Van der Klink, PhD; Aliki, Thomas, PhD, OT


Background: There is no clear guideline on how to teach students evidence-based decision making (EBDM), so this study aimed to assess the impact of an educational intervention on students’ EBDM skills.

Methods: This was an explorative mixed-method study of 12 undergraduate occupational therapy students and their teacher. The teaching was aimed at increasing self-efficacy and cognitive skills in EBDM. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to gather the students’ perceived learning benefits. Before and after the intervention, a self-efficacy questionnaire, a critical thinking test, and scored generic cognitive skills in an argument were used as measures of learning achievements. Content analysis was applied to analyze the interview data. To analyze the quantitative data, the Wilcoxon signed rank test was applied.

Results: Following the five teaching sessions, the participants’ experienced (a) an understanding of the value and challenges in individually tailored EBDM, (b) the ability to sort and select information, (c) being more cautious in reasoning and reaching conclusions, and (d) better interaction with clients. These categories were supported by significant increases in measures of self-efficacy and cognitive skills used in EBDM. Active, guided education and working with real clients were reported as powerful stimuli for learning.

Conclusion: Critical thinking exercises used in authentic health professional evidence-based decisions are promising methods for promoting EBDM.