Evidence-based practice (EBP) is an essential component of good quality, patient-centered health care. This requires practitioners to acquire EBP skills and knowledge during undergraduate and continuing education. Evidence-based practice education exists in a range of health care disciplines, including optometry. Evidence-based practice education, however, depends on relevant skills and knowledge in educators. Courses and workshops exist for the development of EBP teaching skills in some areas of health care but not in optometry. Here, we describe a pilot workshop designed to enhance the teaching of EBP and to investigate the perspectives of optometric educators on EBP including their attitudes and perceived barriers to EBP and its teaching.
Twenty-seven optometric educators including 8 facilitators participated. Of these, 14 were academics (including the 8 facilitators) and 13 were practitioners. Evidence-based practice attitudes were assessed using the Evidence-Based Practice Attitude Scale-50 with appropriate modifications for optometry. Workshop design incorporated strategies to trigger discussion among participants. A nominal group technique was used to identify, prioritize, and reach consensus on barriers to EBP.