Knowledge and attitudes of nursing students towards evidence-based medicine and evidence-based nursing practice

Jarosława Belowska 1 , Mariusz Panczyk 1 , Aleksander Zarzeka 1 , and Joanna Gotlib 1
  • 1 Division of Teaching and Outcomes of Education, Faculty of Health Science, Medical University of Warsaw, Poland


Introduction. Modern nursing practice requires Nursing students to expand their knowledge both in the field of specialized nursing and learning the basics of medicine, as based on scientific evidence. The dissemination of research activities in nursing and the development of the profession, knowledge and practice based on Evidence-based Nursing may contribute to the increase of the effectiveness and improving the quality of healthcare services. Nursing teaching curricula should include subjects related to Evidence-based Medicine, such as scientific research methodology or critical analysis of scientific literature.

Aim. The aim of the study was to analyze the knowledge and attitudes of nursing students towards Evidence-based Medicine (EBM) and Evidence-based Nursing Practice (EBNP).

Material and methods. Out of 127 Master’s degree students in Nursing at the Medical University of Warsaw (4 men), 72% work as a nurse. Mean age of the study group was 26.55 years (min. 22, max. 51, SD=7.52) with 63% of the students attending full-time studies, with 90% being students of the first year. Some 53% earned their bachelor’s degree in Nursing in 2013. A standardized Evidence – Based Practice Profile Questionnaire from University of South Australia, quantitative analysis of the study results.

Results. Nearly 30% of the respondents have never encountered EBM or EBNP during their time at the University (n=41). Most students intend to use relevant scientific literature in order to update their knowledge (n=68) and to upgrade their skills, so as to integrate EBNP into their everyday professional practice (n=67). Some 60% of the respondents deem scientific reports useful for their work (n=76) but nearly half of them regards clinical experience as more important than the results of scientific studies, when it comes to making the right decisions in their professional practice (n=56). Nearly a half of the studied group (n=66) have never heard about the term minimum clinically worthwhile effect and only one person declared the correct explanation systematic review (n=1). 42% declare reading published scientific studies once a month but nearly 30% have never referred scientific findings to their own diagnosis (n=41) and 40% have never assessed its methodological correctness (n=51).

Conclusions. 1. The educational programs in the framework of Nursing studies should be supplemented with subjects of EBM and EBNP, so as to expand the nursing students’ knowledge and let them reap the benefits of using the latest study results in their future professional practice. 2. The level of knowledge about the principles of assessment of reliability of scientific evidence was strongly insufficient and requires urgent supplementation of knowledge and skills of students in this area. 3. It is necessary for students to update their knowledge, particularly when it comes to using the latest scientific literature in everyday clinical practice and skills connected with critical analysis of scientific evidence.

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