Explain the role of research for evidence-based practice in health and social care

Unit 4: Fundamentals of Evidence-based Practice

Unit code J/616/1636
Unit type Core (Pearson-Set Project)
Unit level 4
Credit value 15

Introduction
Evidence-based practice in health and social care involves taking a systematic approach to examining a range of evidence in order to answer key questions of relevance to the sector. The basis of evidence-based practice is research. In health and social care, research is conducted for a number of reasons for example, to find prevalence or incidence of disease, to assess quality of life or patient satisfaction. Research has global relevance and plays a significant role in influencing the development of high-quality provision, supporting a high-functioning integrated workforce and promoting the health and wellbeing of those who use health, care services.

Working in health and social care provides unique opportunities for practitioners to make a difference, developing the skills and knowledge to conduct research is fundamental in order to support quality practice, influence positive change and promote a highly-skilled workforce. The aim of this unit is to develop students’ knowledge and skills to understand the purpose and process of research in health and social care particularly in relation to promoting integrated approaches to care. Students will carry out a literature review on a topic drawn from the Practice Themes aimed at quality improvement within wider health, care or support service practice. Students will learn how to source current literature and assess the reliability and validity of sources to be able to construct an argument that leads to a proposal for a potential research study.

Throughout this process, students will learn how they can dynamically influence changes and improvements within the health and social care sector. The unit will develop students’ skills in understanding the steps they need to take to complete a literature review, academic conventions for presenting literature and how it forms the rationale for a personal research project.

On completion of this unit, students will have developed the pre-requisite skills needed to design a proposal that either extends from their literature review or highlights a further potential area of research. Possessing the necessary skills for conducting quality personal research that leads to evidence-based practice, will enhance students’ academic skills, professionalism and employment opportunities within the health and social care sector.

*Please refer to the accompanying Pearson-set Assignment Guide and the Theme Release document for further support and guidance on the delivery of the Pearsonset unit.

Learning Outcomes
By the end of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Explain the role of research for evidence-based practice in health and social care
  2. Conduct a review of key literature relating to a research topic towards improvements in care practice
  3. Develop a project proposal using evidence-based practice
  4. Examine the value of the literature review process in influencing positive change in health, care or support service provision.

Essential content
LO1 Explain the role of research for evidence-based practice in health and social care

The principle, purposes and value for conducting research in health and social care practice:
How research develops, improves or identifies gaps in practice and/or provision
Value of research in developing cost-effective interventions and promoting health and wellbeing of individuals
Individuals and organisations involved in conducting research into health and social care practice
How research can develop or extend knowledge and understanding
How research can improve own and others’ professional development
The ways that research can inform other services to foster an integrated professional workforce
The types and areas of research undertaken in health and social care
The research process
Understanding the recursive and evolving nature of the research process
Understanding the steps taken when carrying out personal research
Selecting a personal research topic
Developing research aims and objectives, e.g. research questions and hypotheses
Conducting a literature review
Selecting methodology for data collection
Selecting sample for study
Ethical considerations: health and social care ethics – beneficence, nonmaleficence, autonomy and justice
Collecting primary data
Conducting data analysis
Drawing conclusions and organising research
The professional and personal skills required in order to conduct a literature review

LO2 Conduct a review of key literature relating to a research topic towards improvements in care practice
The literature review process:
The purpose of a literature review
Providing up-to-date information of research in the area
Identifying methods that can be used in any further research
Provides an understanding of similar findings, inconsistencies, areas not
previously identified, possible further research ideas for evidence-based practice
Identifying topic for research in health, care or support service provision using the Practice Themes as a framework
Preliminary searches to determine feasibility of conducting an evidence-based project in chosen area
Conducting a literature review using internet, books, journals, reports, web sites and other sources
Primary and secondary sources
Methods used for searching internet, e.g. use of Boolean searches, key words, terms
Reading techniques used to assess appropriateness of literature, e.g., scanning, skimming
Assessing the validity and reliability of sources using tools e.g., source, appearance, method, timeliness, applicability, balance (SAMTAB) methods
Making notes and evaluating sources of information for reliability and validity
Examining results of literature search and critically evaluating to provide a summary of current knowledge about the research topic
Presenting literature reviews using academic writing and use of Harvard referencing system

LO3 Develop a project proposal using evidence-based practice

Identifying principle methods to conduct research using evidence-based practice
Purpose of evidence-based practice: to use all current and available evidence, theoretical and practical, to provide robust answers to critical issues in health, care or support services
Ability of evidence-based practice to gain access to new ideas and thinking, find solutions, opportunities to develop practice, service provision, positive outcomes, integrated workforce
Primary research methods used for an evidence-based practice approach, e.g. questionnaires, interviews, observations

Elements of the process of developing the project proposal
Identifying suitable title and research questions using one of the Practice
Themes
Considering potential impact of research, using evidence-based-practice
Identifying potential participants or sample
Ethical considerations
Developing a timeline for research
Presenting potential evidence-based practice study to an audience

LO4 Examine the value of the literature review process in influencing positive change in health and social care practice
Impact of literature review on influencing innovation and improvement in health and social care
Effectiveness of literature review in identifying current research and thinking in areas of evidence-based health, care or support service practice and provision
How literature review can help to define research questions and methodologies
How literature review can be applied to different Practice Themes and prompt further research How potential evidence-based practice research study may influence practice or provision in health, care or support services, e.g. quality of delivery
How potential evidence-based practice research study may impact on own future practice in contributing to effective service provision, to seek and influence change proactively within the health and social care sector

How findings from any research study can be used to encourage integrated care model, promote knowledge exchange and multidisciplinary working
Evaluate own contribution to research process
Evaluating own role in conducting a literature review
Recognising own contribution to research process and development of own skills and knowledge in terms of an evidence-based approach to practice
How evidence-based practice could affect own future career progression
How potential research study can support leadership and development of others to engage in evidence-based practice
Setting targets for developing own personal and professional development in terms of evidence-based practice
Identifying ways to develop personal and professional practice to be able to conceive innovation and improvement in evidence-based health, care or support service practice

Learning Outcomes and Assessment Criteria

Pass Merit Distinction
LO1 Explain the role of research for evidence-based practice in health and social care D1 Evaluate the skills required to conduct ethical research to positively influence practice and provision in health, care and support services
P1 Describe the purpose and process of conducting research in enabling evidence-based practice in health and social care P2 Explain the skills and qualities needed to conduct a literature review in health and social care M1 Analyse own current skills and knowledge in being able to conduct a literature review in health and social care towards evidencebased practice
LO2 Conduct a review of key literature relating to a research topic towards improvements in care practice LO2 and LO3 D2 Critically assess the viability of own project proposal in relation to the literature review conducted
P3 Conduct a literature review using a range of sources relating to the research topic P4 Explain results of literature search that summarises current knowledge about research topic M2 Evaluate the reliability and validity of own literature review
LO3 Develop a project proposal using evidencebased practice
P5 Explain the benefits of evidence-based practice as a method in carrying out research P6 Produce a project proposal for a proposed study based on research topic M3 Justify rationale for proposed research study based on research topic
LO4 Examine the value of the literature review process in influencing positive change in health and social care practice D3 Evaluate own journey towards contributing to innovation and improvement in evidence-based health, care or support practice and service delivery
P7 Describe different ways in which the literature review influences evidencebased health and social care practice P8 Explain how recent research has had a positive impact on current practice to improve service delivery M4 Analyse how the personal research process has an impact on own learning and practice in the workplace

Recommended resources
Textbooks
BELL, J. (2014) Doing your Research Project: A Guide for First-Time Researchers (6th Ed.) Oxford: Open University Press.
CROOKES, P.A. and DAVIES, S. (2014) Research into Practice, 2e: Essential Skills for Reading and Applying Research in Nursing and Healthcare. London: Bailliere Tindall
DAVIES, J. (2012) Evidence-based Practice (Nursing and Health Survival Guides). Oxford: Routledge.
ELLIS, P. (2016) Understanding Research for Nursing Students (Transforming Nursing Practice Series). London: Sage Publications Ltd.
NEWELL, R. (2010) Research Evidence-Based Practice in Healthcare: Second Edition (Vital Notes for Nurses). Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
THOMAS, G. (2013) How to do your Research Project (2nd Revised Edition). London: Sage Publications Ltd.

  LEARNING REQUIREMENTS (UNIT CONTENT) ASSESSMENT REQUIREMENTS (ASSESSMENT CRITERIA)
THEME 1: LAW, REGULATION AND ETHICAL PRACTICE LO1 P1, P2, M1, D1
THEME 2: PROFESSIONAL VALUES, ATTITUDES AND BEHAVIOURS All Learning Outcomes P1, P2, M1, D1

P3, P4, M2, D2

P6, M3, D3

P7, P8, M4, D4

THEME 3: HEALTH, SAFETY AND SAFEGUARDING THROUGH THE LIFESPAN LO1, LO3, LO4 P1, P2, P3, P4

P5, D2 P8, M4, D3

THEME 4: VALUING AND PROMOTING DIVERSITY, DIFFERENCE AND INCLUSION LO1, LO3, LO4 P1, P2, M1, D1

P5, D2 P8, M4, D3

THEME 5: PROMOTING PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH AND WELLBEING LO1, LO4 P1, P2, M1, D1

P7, P8, M4, D3

THEME 6: NUMERACY IN PRACTICE LO2, LO3 P4

P6, M2, D2

Essential requirements
Case study material is essential and can be provided by the tutor or based on students’ work situations.
Delivery
Tutors must be appropriately qualified and experienced in the health and social care sector to cover the principles and skills development aspects of this unit.
Assessment
Students must be given time to develop their workplace experience, knowledge and understanding before assessment of this unit. They will be expected to present evidence based substantially on their work in health, care and/or support services. Evidence against practice-based criteria can be collated in the Practical Learning and Development Portfolio (PLAD).

Employer engagement and vocational contexts
A letter to employers that briefly outlines the Learning Outcomes of this unit may be helpful to support students’ workplace learning needs. An exemplar letter is given in the PLAD that accompanies this specification.

 

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