Module Identifier DSM0420  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Dr Christine J Urquhart  
Semester Available all semesters  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment Report 2,000-2,500 words each  50%
Semester Assessment Report 2,000-2,500 words each  50%

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Brief description

The problem of getting research into practice is an old problem, but the need for some solutions is now urgent with the growing demand from the media, the public and pressure groups for the evidence surrounding decisions which affect people?s lives. In the health sector, doctors may change the type of treatment given to a patient when presented with evidence which demonstrates that one type of therapy is likely to be more cost-effective than another. But professionals need to have the evidence available, as they have little time to seek it out. The biomedical literature is huge, and growing everyday, and individuals find it hard enough to keep with the research in their own specialty. Unit 1 discusses the research process, how research evidence is created, generated, and then disseminated through the journals. There is a need for reviews that are systematically done, applying agreed criteria to decide which research evidence is worth further consideration and which does not. Clinical guidelines take the systematic reviews one step further by assessing the evidence and guiding professionals in what they should do in certain circumstances. Unit 2 examines in more detail the construction of these evidence-based databases, and databases which contain some evidence but other types of materials as well. Unit 3 discusses the techniques of critical appraisal required to assess whether research evidence is useful to you, and your work. Unit 4 examines some of the initiatives established to ensure that evidence reaches those who need it, and how a strategy might be developed. Even putting the information in front of people, under their noses, may not help if the information is presented in such a way that they misinterpret the statistics. Unit 6 discusses some of the problems in presentation of risk and how the format affects how easily swayed we are by the evidence.

Reading Lists

** Essential Reading
GRAY, J.A. Muir (1997) Evidence-based healthcare: how to make health policy and management decisions Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone
In addition, the resource pack for the module contains essential readings for each Unit, and the module conference area contains Web site links.


This module is at CQFW Level 7