Virtual Grand Rounds: A Curricular Model for Translating Evidence-Based Practice From the Classroom to the Clinic

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Journal of Physical Therapy Education


Background and Purpose. The physical therapy profession supports educating physical therapist graduates to use evidencebased practice (EBP) skills in the clinical environment. Educational interventions to teach EBP include a variety of formats, but most focus on changing student and clinician knowledge and skills rather than changing actual clinician behavior. The literature suggests that for clinician behavior to change, educational interventions must be integrated into clinical practice. To describe the restructuring of the ATSU research and EBP curriculum including the development of a course, Virtual Grand Rounds (VGR), that focused on EBP skills and took place during clinical experiences. Method/Model Description and Evaluation. The curriculum and VGR course were designed for students to learn EBP skills, develop tolerance for uncertainty, implement EBP within time demands of the clinic, and use workplace supports. All physical therapy students completed both the Evidence-Based Practice Beliefs (EBPB) scale and the Evidence-Based Practice Implementation (EBPI) scale at program entry and at the end of years 1, 2, and 3 (graduation). Outcomes. A total of 727 EBPB and 719 EBPI surveys were completed and analyzed. Using an analysis of variance with Scheffe post hoc analyses, significant differences (P < .05) were found between the EBPB and EBPI scores for each year of data collection with the exception of a nonsignificant change between year 1 and year 2 (P = .998 and P = .702). The overall EBPI score at graduation indicated that during the final clinical year, students performed each EBP skill somewhere between 1 and 5 times during the clinical experience. Changes in individual question scores indicated increases in students' skills, knowledge, and application throughout all years. Discussion and Conclusion. Evidencebased practice implementation increased throughout the 3 years and was at the highest following the final clinical year when students participated in the newly developed VGR. By situating practice of EBP within the time constraints of the clinical environment, the setting where EBP takes place, students are equipped to move away from the reliance on clinical expertise to evidence-based physical therapy. The development of the VGR course described in this article shifts EBP from an academic exercise in the classroom to an activity imbedded in real clinical practice. Other programs may find this integrated course helpful in removing barriers to EBP and developing graduates equipped to integrate EBP in the clinical environment.

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