Key Steps in Infusing Evidence into CE Course Content: Introduction
Introduction to Evidence-Based Continuing Education (CE)
The CE administrator, planner, and presenter all have essential roles in promoting Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) and using
evidence-based information in the planning and development of continuing education offerings. Clinicians can become easily frustrated by the aim to incorporate evidence based practice paradigms in their clinical settings, frequently resulting from a combination of the lack of sufficient knowledge and skills as well as a lack of time and other key resources for proper implementation.
What Is Evidence-Based Continuing Education?
In evidence-based continuing education sessions, the presenter provides:
- the best available, current, scientific evidence to support a particular practice or guideline which can include exploratory or pilot study data and the related evidence
- information about his/her clinical expertise, expert opinion, and experience in this topic area
- information related to client/patient/caregiver values
What Is the Importance of Infusing Evidence Into Course Content?
Attending EB CE sessions benefits the participant in several ways. Presenters at such sessions provide:
- the "why" of content and the "who does it benefit" to make the implications for practice obvious,
- the degree of scientific evidence that is available to guide practice,
- references for all content and clinical recommendations, and
- evidence for clinical recommendations that are ethically supportable (dePalma, 2007).
At the end of an EB CE session, the participant possesses a wealth of information that can be immediately applied to his or her practice. References cited in a presentation can be reviewed and considered at a future time to support or perhaps initiate change in clinical practice. Evidence-based sessions encourage participants to use the information to improve the practice in their clinical settings and to explore pertinent clinical questions that exist in their own practice. For more information see DePalma, JA (2007), The Value of Evidence-Based Continuing Education, Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 38(2): 52–53.
The inclusion of proper citations of prior research should accompany presentation slides and hand-out materials, thus providing concrete references for attendees.
Sample Slides with Citations
How Do CE Administrators and Planners Work With Presenters on Infusing Evidence Into Course Content?
CE administrators and planners can develop best practice guidelines for the use and application of evidence-based information within course content. CE providers should be encouraged to incorporate educational offerings which demonstrate the use of evidence to change or enhance clinical practice or to develop how-to sessions on skills needed to implement EBP.
Evidence-based sessions can take two distinct approaches:
- teaching the skills necessary to be able to integrate evidence into practice, and
- providing guidelines for best current practice based on the most valid evidence.