Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of an evidence-based practice (EBP) curriculum incorporated throughout a chiropractic doctoral program on EBP knowledge, attitudes, and self-assessed skills and behaviors in chiropractic students.
Methods: In a prospective cohort design, students from the last entering class under an old curriculum were compared with students in the first 2 entering classes under a new EBP curriculum during the 9th and 11th quarters of the 12-quarter doctoral program at the University of Western States in Portland, OR (n = 370 students at matriculation). Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was performed using a 3-cohort × 2-quarter repeated cross-sectional factorial design to assess the effect of successive entering classes and stage of the students' education.
Results: For the knowledge exam (primary outcome), there was a statistically significant cohort effect with each succeeding cohort showing better performance (P < .001); students also performed slightly better in the 11th quarter than in the 9th quarter (P < .05). A similar pattern in cohort and quarter effects was found with behavior self-appraisal for greater time accessing databases such as PubMed. Student self-appraisal of their skills was higher in the 11th than the 9th quarter. All cohorts rejected a set of sentinel misconceptions about application of scientific literature (practice attitudes).
Conclusions: The implementation of the EBP curriculum at this institution resulted in acquisition of knowledge necessary to access and interpret scientific literature, the retention and improvement of skills over time, and the enhancement of self-reported behaviors favoring use of quality online resources.
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