A Randomized Control Trial to Test the Differences in Educational Methods Used to Enhance Nurses' Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practice of Evidence-Based Practice
Stichler, Jaynelle F.
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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to test the effectiveness of a computer-based, self-administered education module as compared to the in-class presentation of the same education module on nurses' knowledge, attitudes, and practice of EBP. This study was significant because in order to understand and deliver EBP, all nurses must have not only the foundational knowledge of basic EBP skills, but also demonstrate an attitude that embraces its implementation and application. Methods: The study design was a randomized controlled pre-test/post-test methodology to test the effect of the educational intervention to improve nurses' knowledge, attitudes, and practice of EBP. Nursing units at three entities on a multi-campus site were randomized to one of three groups: control, computer-based learning (CBL) or in-class presentation. Results: The sample consisted of 130 nurses in the control group, 192 in the CBL group, and 274 in the classroom group. Questions related to the frequency of attendance at formal EBP classes/conferences or readings in EBP and a self-rating of research abilities were included in the demographic survey. Only two items were significantly different across the three groups: the number of computer-based education in EBP was significantly different and the ability to apply research evidence to patient care. Results on the 12 item knowledge questionnaire revealed no significant differences in the percentage of correct answers pre-test as compared to post-test. There also was no significant difference noted among the aggregated means across all three groups for the pre-test as compared to the post-test. Conclusion: Results indicated no differences in knowledge gain between CBL and in-class presentation; CBL is less costly and more accessible than formal class presentations. As nursing organizations embrace and enculturate EBP in the current cost-containment environment, it is beneficial to note that computer-assisted instruction is an effective methodology for EBP knowledge translation.