Understanding and Practice of Evidence Based Search Strategy Among Postgraduate Dental Students: A Preliminary Study

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Abstract

Background:

One of the core attributes of competent practice is the ability to locate and analyze high-quality evidence. Research on information seeking knowledge of dental graduates is scarce.

Objective:

The objective was to evaluate pertinent knowledge and skills on formulation of answerable questions and searching skills through the understanding and application of EBP.

Material and Methods:

Participants' understanding and abilities to develop answerable questions in application of EBP were assessed through a quasi-experimental study design among freshly inducted postgraduate dental students at Dow University of Health Sciences. Pre and post workshop activity sessions were conducted and assessment was made through a tool that was an adaptation of the Fresno Test. The assessments performed were calculated for mean scores and standard deviations to draw descriptive results for the participants' understanding of the search items and clinical question formulation skills. Wilcoxon-signed rank test was performed to compare the pre and post workshop mean scores.

Results:

Forty two participants (females = 20, males = 22) attended the workshop. Pre-workshop knowledge and understanding about the terminologies used in EBP was low among participants. Post-workshop performance of the participants to formulate a question, find evidence and search on PubMed was improved to a “Limited” level. The improvements were statistically significant but could not attain “Strong” and “Excellent” grades as far as the EBP skills were concerned.

Conclusion:

This study observed a potential to improve search skills of dental graduates after their training and exposure to search strategies available on databases.

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