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Knowledge and Use of Evidence-based Practice by Allied Health and Health Science Professionals in the United Kingdom

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Clinical effectiveness (CE) and evidence-based practice (EBP) are the cornerstone of modern-day health care. Although many studies have explored attitudes and perceived knowledge of individual professions, few have compared these factors between professional groups, especially in the allied health professions (AHP) and health science services (HSS). We report a study comparing the knowledge and practice of 14 different professional groups from the AHP and HSS in terms of EBP and CE. The aim was to highlight any differences between the 14 professional groups along with the needs of the groups. A postal questionnaire survey was completed by a random sample of 1,000 members of AHP and HSS across the United Kingdom. There were significant differences between professional groups with, in general, professionals from the HSS groups rating their knowledge and application of CE and EBP as lower than members of the AHP. Differences were also noted between individual professional groups. For example, podiatrists, radiographers, and orthoptists reported having less knowledge of CE and EBP than physiotherapists, occupational therapists, dietitians, speech and language therapists, and psychologists. Barriers to implementing EBP were similar for all groups, with lack of both time and money cited as the main issues. A number of differences between professions were recorded that highlight the difference in educational and policy approach required for greater uptake of EBP.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2006

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  • The Journal of Allied Health is the official publication of the Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions (ASAHP). The Journal is the only interdisciplinary allied health periodical, publishing scholarly works related to research and development, feature articles, research abstracts and book reviews. Readers of the Journal comprise allied health leaders, educators, faculty and students.
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