Evidence-based practice (EBP) is a fundamental part of the curriculum in the Minor Health Care & Science (HC&S). Health care professionals make decisions that dictate which pathway of treatment will be implemented to ensure the highest standard of patient care. These decisions should be founded in scientific arguments supporting best practice. Evidence-based practice is based on more than evidence alone. Basing practice on evidence alone results in decisions based on external factors only. But the entire system includes the patient and the therapist. In other words, evidence based practice is based on published evidence, the therapist's own expertise and experience, and the patient's unique characteristics and his/her preferences.
During their study, students will learn about scientific evidence, including where to find literature, how to interpret the quality of work, and the applicability to individual patients. This process falls under the following names: clinical decision-making, clinical reasoning, and/or methodology. The clinical decision-making process is not clearly defined. Scientific evidence is the cornerstone of EBP, and as such, forms a fundamental construct of our clinical reasoning process. There are five steps for applying EBP: Ask-Access-Appraise-Apply-Assess. The Minor HC&S will introduce students to scientific research; specifically, the methodology of it. Students may wish to further their interest in scientific research in the future.
For all students the exploration of the relevance of research clinically will challenge their philosophical attitudes towards reasoning. Former HC&S students have described this study as a 'change in mindset' or the gaining of a 'broader scope' of practice. Students learn to apply EBP in daily life in varying degrees: as a follower (those who merely hold applicable guidelines and instructions, or who use the advice of EBP experts), as a user (those who research internet and databases to search for guidelines) and as an expert (those who use the five-step process independently to assist others) . As such, the Minor HC&S acts as a bridge between the Bachelor and AMC MSc-EBP program. It aims at advancing students' research skills developed in the Bachelor program from using scientific articles as evidence to base a theory or argument, to the actual development of a scientific article.
The exploration of the relevance of research clinically will challenge your philosophical attitudes towards reasoning. You will learn about concepts such as validity and reliability, why they can be difficult and what they mean for our profession. Former HC&S students have described this Minor as a ‘change in mindset’ or ‘the gaining of a broader scope of practice’.