Excellence in EBP Education: Threading the Section on Research EBP Curricular Guidelines into Classrooms, Clinical Experiences and Practice


This session will stimulate discussion and problem solving around implementation of the 2014 Section on Research Evidence Based Practice Curricular Guidelines for DPT programs. Participants from all settings will explore diverse strategies for using the guidelines to develop and assess curricula in the classroom and clinical settings.

Methods and/or Description of Project

Evidence-based practice (EBP) is a cornerstone of contemporary physical therapist practice. Educators in Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) programs are challenged to incorporate EBP content and experiences in their burgeoning curricula. Clinical instructors are challenged to reinforce EBP in their student affiliates. Using the DPT Education Evidence Based Practice Curriculum Guidelines (2014), developed by a special taskforce of the Section on Research EBP Special Interest Group, this interactive learning session will prompt program and clinical educators to reflect on how they integrate EBP across classroom and clinical experiences. Issues of EBP curricular content, teaching and learning strategies, and learning objectives in the classroom and clinic will be used to stimulate discussion, problem solving, and reflection on this critical element of DPT education. Self-assessment tools will be introduced that can be used by students, clinicians, or programs to guide EBP professional development and curriculum. Participation through audience response clickers will be used to facilitate discussion.


This session will provide participants with the strategies and resources needed to implement an engaging and clinically relevant EBP curriculum aligned with the Section on Research Guidelines, across courses and clinical experiences. Real time audience responses will provide feedback and promote reflection about opportunities for developing both program and clinical EBP curricula.

Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme: The Pursuit of Excellence in Physical Therapy Education

This session supports the subtheme of ‘Instructional Strategies for the Classroom and Clinic’. The use of evidence in practice has been and will continue to be a critical aspect of clinical decision-making. Yet, there has been little discussion about instructional strategies for promoting excellence in EBP education in the classroom or clinic. Additionally, changing methodologies in EBP require thoughtful and judicious updating of expected graduate outcomes, and strategies for weaving EBP throughout curricula and clinical experiences. The Section on Research’s DPT Education EBP Curricular Guidelines (2014) provides a map for pursuing excellence in DPT education. The Guidelines, in concert with a recently published paper about their use, can be used to support curriculum review, course and assignment integration, graduate outcome measurement, and faculty development. This session will support programs and clinical sites in their efforts to meet the ever changing demands in current practice.


EBP Special Interest Group, Section on Research, APTA. Doctor of Physical Therapy Education. Evidence-based Practice Curriculum Guidelines. 2014. http://www.ptresearch.org/site/1/SIGS/EBP/EBP%20PT%20ED%20MANUAL%20FINAL%202-24-15.pdf
DiCenso A, Bayley L, Haynes RB. Accessing preappraised evidence: fine-tuning the 5S model into a 6S model. Ann Intern Med. 2009;151(6):JC3-2.
Green LW. Making research relevant: if it is an evidence-based practice, where's the practice-based evidence? Fam Pract. Dec 2008;25 Suppl 1:i20-24.
Jette DU, Bacon K, Batty C, et al. Evidence-based practice: beliefs, attitudes, knowledge, and behaviors of physical therapists. Phys Ther. Sep 2003;83(9):786-805.
Kaplan, L., Tilson, J. K., Levine, D., George, Z., Fay, D., Hack, L., & Jewell, D. V. (2016). Strategies for Using the APTA Section on Research Evidence-Based Practice Curriculum Guidelines. JOPTE, 30(2), 23-31.
Menon A, Korner-Bitensky N, Kastner M, McKibbon KA, Straus S. Strategies for rehabilitation professionals to move evidence-based knowledge into practice: a systematic review. J Rehabil Med. 2009;41(13):1024-1032.
Rycroft-Malone J. Implementing evidence-based practice in the reality of clinical practice. Worldviews Evid Based Nurs. Feb 2012;9(1):1.
Tilson JK, Mickan S. Promoting physical therapists' of research evidence to inform clinical practice: part 1--theoretical foundation, evidence, and description of the PEAK program. BMC Med Educ. 2014;14:125.
Tilson JK, Mickan S, Sum JC, Zibell M, Dylla JM, Howard R. Promoting physical therapists' use of research evidence to inform clinical practice: part 2 - a mixed methods evaluation of the PEAK program. BMC Med Educ. 2014;14(1):126.
Tilson JK, Marshall K, Tam JJ, Fetters L. A bibliometric analysis of statistical terms used in American Physical Therapy Association journals (2011-2012): evidence for educating physical therapists. BMC Med Educ. In Press.
Tilson JK. Validation of the modified Fresno Test: assessing physical therapists’ evidence based practice knowledge and skills. BMC Med Ed. 2010, 10:38.
Tilson JK, Kaplan SL, Harris JL, Hutchinson A, Ilic D, Niederman R, Potomkova J, Zwolsman S. Sicily Statement on Classification and Development of Evidence-Based Practice Learning Assessment Tools. BMC Med Ed. 2011; 11:78

Course Objectives

1. Implement the Section on Research EBP Guidelines to promote excellence in EBP education in the classroom and clinic.

2. Design and evaluate engaging learning experiences to promote EBP in the classroom and clinic

3. Discuss examples of effective teaching and outcome measurement strategies for EBP learning.

4. Use a tool that promotes reflection at the level of the program or professional regarding the implementation of EBP.

Instructional Methods

Interactive large group presentation with large and small group discussion, facilitated by audience response system provided by speakers.

Tentative Outline/Schedule

15 min - Introduction: expectations and challenges of EBP in education and practice
25 min - EBP Curricular Guidelines: how to use them in your clinic’s or program’s pursuit of excellence
30 min - Designing engaging EBP learning experiences for the classroom and clinic
15 min - Evaluating program and individual competence in EBP and EBP education
5 min - Summary and final Q & A.

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  • Control #: 2527404
  • Type: Educational Session
  • Event/Year: ELC2016
  • Authors: Sandra Kaplan, Julie Tilson
  • Keywords:

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