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    1 Comment for this article
    Better training of health professionals
    Frederick Rivara, MD, MPH | University of Washington
    One of the cardinal tenets of quality improve is that we first have to measure what we want to improve. This study provides those outcome measurements that we can use to improve the education and training of physicians and help to develop the best workforce possible.
    CONFLICT OF INTEREST: Editor in Chief, JAMA Network Open
    Consensus Statement
    Medical Education
    June 22, 2018

    Core Competencies in Evidence-Based Practice for Health Professionals: Consensus Statement Based on a Systematic Review and Delphi Survey

    Author Affiliations
    • 1Centre for Research in Evidence-Based Practice, Bond University, Robina, Queensland, Australia
    • 2Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    • 3Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    • 4Department of Health and Functioning, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Bergen, Norway
    • 5Centre for Evidence-based Health Care, Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
    • 6Cochrane South Africa, South African Medical Research Council, Cape Town, South Africa
    • 7Medical Education Research and Quality Unit, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    • 8Department of Veterans Affairs, University of Alabama at Birmingham
    • 9Department of General Internal Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham
    • 10Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impact, McMaster University Faculty of Health Sciences, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
    JAMA Netw Open. 2018;1(2):e180281. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.0281
    Key Points español 中文 (chinese)

    Question  What are the core competencies in evidence-based practice (EBP) that health professionals should meet?

    Findings  In this systematic, multistage, modified Delphi survey study, a contemporary set of 68 core competencies in EBP grouped into the main EBP domains was developed.

    Meaning  This consensus statement of the core competencies in EBP should inform the development of EBP curricula for health professionals.


    Importance  Evidence-based practice (EBP) is necessary for improving the quality of health care as well as patient outcomes. Evidence-based practice is commonly integrated into the curricula of undergraduate, postgraduate, and continuing professional development health programs. There is, however, inconsistency in the curriculum content of EBP teaching and learning programs. A standardized set of minimum core competencies in EBP that health professionals should meet has the potential to standardize and improve education in EBP.

    Objective  To develop a consensus set of core competencies for health professionals in EBP.

    Evidence Review  For this modified Delphi survey study, a set of EBP core competencies that should be covered in EBP teaching and learning programs was developed in 4 stages: (1) generation of an initial set of relevant EBP competencies derived from a systematic review of EBP education studies for health professionals; (2) a 2-round, web-based Delphi survey of health professionals, selected using purposive sampling, to prioritize and gain consensus on the most essential EBP core competencies; (3) consensus meetings, both face-to-face and via video conference, to finalize the consensus on the most essential core competencies; and (4) feedback and endorsement from EBP experts.

    Findings  From an earlier systematic review of 83 EBP educational intervention studies, 86 unique EBP competencies were identified. In a Delphi survey of 234 participants representing a range of health professionals (physicians, nurses, and allied health professionals) who registered interest (88 [61.1%] women; mean [SD] age, 45.2 [10.2] years), 184 (78.6%) participated in round 1 and 144 (61.5%) in round 2. Consensus was reached on 68 EBP core competencies. The final set of EBP core competencies were grouped into the main EBP domains. For each key competency, a description of the level of detail or delivery was identified.

    Conclusions and Relevance  A consensus-based, contemporary set of EBP core competencies has been identified that may inform curriculum development of entry-level EBP teaching and learning programs for health professionals and benchmark standards for EBP teaching.