Full paper Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia 2015

Facilitating refereed publication by health professionals: Research informed software to scaffold the integration of research evidence with practice knowledge (#202)

David Gillham 1 , Lindy King 1 , Mikaila Crotty 1
  1. Flinders University, Adelaide, SA, Australia

Abstract Content (up to 300 words recommended)

Health professionals strive to base their practice on the best available research evidence while needing to demonstrate best practice to meet accreditation requirements. This requires skills in interpreting and applying research evidence and also the ability to construct written reports describing health care practice.

This paper describes research processes underpinning the design of e-learning software used to support the preparation of refereed publications by clinicians, postgraduate and undergraduate students. The project, Critiique for Publication (CFP), draws together two existing research programs focusing on mentored refereed publication and online appraisal by embedding mentored publication subject content in a novel e-learning tool. CFP will be used by clinicians and students to facilitate collaborative publication development. CFP promotes learning by doing as clinicians and students are guided through scaffolded report construction based on integrating critically appraised research evidence with professional practice knowledge. The paper will describe how the development of CFP has been informed by survey and interview data examining barriers and facilitators for student led publications.  

Postgraduate and undergraduate students studying courses and subjects which provided the potential for the generation of student led publications were surveyed to identify facilitators and barriers to publication development. In depth interviews were also conducted with respondents who expressed interest in further study participation. These findings were then used to inform CFP software development.

Results and Implications
Seventy nine students completed the online questionnaire with a further eight students participating in interviews. Descriptive and thematic analysis of data suggested facilitation and support was a major determining factor in publication success. Specific data related to facilitating publication development was then used to guide CFP software design and content. In addition the survey tools developed have been strategically embedded in CFP to facilitate ongoing feedback and modification of CFP as it is used by clinicians.

Addressing the theme/s of the Conference (up to 200 words recommended)

Health care practice is constantly evolving as new research evidence emerges across a wide range of relevant specialty areas. Health professionals have a challenging task to keep up to date and need the ability to interpret this research evidence and apply it to their specific client group. Consequently health professionals need life-long learning skills to address the integration of research evidence with their professional practice experience. Critiique for Publication (CFP) e-learning software targets this specific area by scaffolding and guiding critical review development as clinicians and students are guided step by step through structured processes of question formulation, searching for evidence, critical appraisal and report development. CFP will be made accessible to both clinicians and students, so students can develop necessary skills during undergraduate and postgraduate studies but potentially continue to use CFP as part of their ongoing continuing education. An important aspect of CFP is that the content included is informed by survey and individual interview data examining facilitators and barriers to publication. Furthermore the survey tools used have been embedded in CFP so future modifications can be response to the changing needs of health professionals.

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