The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2007 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

EVIDENCE SUPPORTING EVIDENCE-BASED THINKING ACROSS DISCIPLINES

J. R. Edens1, E. Mendez2, B. Hill3, C. Tierney2


Problem/Background: In his 2001 article entitled “What is the evidence on evidence-based nursing? An epistemological concern,” Peter French suggests that evidence-based practice lacks consensus and that there is little evidence to support that a new process exists. Disagreement with this finding spurred inquiry into evidence-based thinking across the continuum of healthcare disciplines.
Research/Clinical Question: Does the literature support that the use of “evidence- based” terminology is growing amongst all healthcare disciplines?

Methods: A frequency analysis on the use of evidence-based key terms in Ovid’s CINAHL and Medline was conducted. A total of 24,608 articles were found with “evidence-based” in the title, abstract or as keywords. The articles were subdivided into categories by their root suffix: nursing, medicine, practice, care, decision making, health care, respiratory and other therapies, by the search engine.

Results: The first article appeared in 1991. A statistically significant rise in the numbers of evidence-based articles begins around 1999 and continues through 2005. Evidence-Based Medicine still leads in volume, yet other disciplines (particularly Nursing) have experienced a rise in embracing an evidence-based philosophy. Respiratory Care literature showed slight increase of evidence based articles.

Theoretical Framework: Lewin’s Change Theory was utilized to explain this move. “Unfreezing” involves letting go of certain attitudes, (“we’ve always done it that way”). “Changing” involves alteration of self-conceptions and ways of thinking through the influence of research and evidence collection. “Refreezing” involves making changes based on the new evidence and incorporating them into practice.

Conclusion and Significance to Respiratory Care: Since 1996, the Institute of Medicine has addressed quality health practices, recommending that healthcare providers make evidence-based decisions. This may have influenced the “tipping point” expressed in the continuous rise of evidence-based terms in journal articles after 1999. Evidence-based health care is a viable construct being used in the practice of all health care disciplines, including respiratory care.

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