Sr. Evidence-Based Practice Analyst Medical University of South Carolina Charleston, South Carolina
Background: To be eligible to sit for the dietetic registration exam, students much complete a comprehensive, clinical and community-based dietetic internship to prepare them with baseline competencies for dietetics. All dietetic interns must complete a research Capstone as part of their training. Evidence-based practice (EBP) is a core competency of both the internship and the research Capstone. An EBP course was developed as part of the orientation to the dietetic internship. The goal of the course was to promote the development of more comprehensive, evidence-based Capstone projects and improve use of EBP during rotations.
Description: A librarian and a clinical EBP analyst, both with dietetics and Public Health training and experience, teamed up to create an EBP course for dietetic interns (n=12) at our institution. It included two in-person sessions completed six weeks apart and five online, video-based modules with corresponding quizzes delivered through a Libguide. Knowledge was assessed via a 10-question pre-test at the first in-person session and again six weeks later. Pre- and post-test questions were identical, and focused on PICO, searching, critical appraisal, and the EBP process overall. LibGuide analytics were collected to evaluate interaction with each module. The median (75 pre vs 90 post, mean difference: +15) and mean (75 pre vs 87.5 post, mean difference: +12.5) knowledge scores for dietetic interns in our study increased as a result of the EBP course, but these increases were not statistically significant (p=0.054).
Conclusion: This course for dietetic interns was successful at improving mean and median knowledge scores about the EBP process steps, although statistical significance was not reached. These results are limited by the small sample size. We intend to collect similar data with the next cohort of dietetic interns and re-evaluate the results. The analytic feedback provided many opportunities for improvement by the instructors and internship director in preparation for next year’s cohort of dietetic interns.