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The oil crisis, risk and evidence-based practice

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TRAYNOR M. Nursing Inquiry 2002; 9: 162–169

The oil crisis, risk and evidence-based practice

Evidence-based practice has risen to prominence over the last 20 years. Different professions have taken it up in different ways and for different purposes. It has been seen as holding both threats and advantages to professionalising endeavours and professional identity. It has engendered controversy but some criticisms of it have been unconvincing. It is possible to account for its rise as a response to tightening financial constraints on state spending in the west, as a sign of a culture increasingly concerned with risk, distrust of professionals and experts, as well as a way for professionals themselves to maintain control over their activity in the face of growing managerialism. This paper reviews the literature of some of the movement's proponents as well as criticism from various professional groups. It concludes that more useful than either arguing for or against it, is to understand the policy background and sociological reasons for its emergence and spread.
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Keywords: evidence-based practice; health policy; qualitative research; randomised-controlled trial; sociology of science

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2002-09-01

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