1)What is evidence based practice?  2)What is your understanding of test-retest reliability?

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M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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In the field of medicine, a new approach that has become the newest trend in health studies is called "interdisciplinary". As the term implies, its purpose is to include experts from different fields of study within the medical field that can help treat the "whole" patient.

EBP, Evidence-Based-Practice, is therefore an interdisciplinary strategy that stems out of this new trend in medicine and dates back to the early 1990's. This strategy consists on getting together the expert opinion of diverse members of the medical community, identifying every need and preference of the patient, and using external scholarly and scientific resources to support all interventions.

The difference between EBP and the traditional methodologies is that the head clinician no longer holds the entire control and decision-making in the process of the patient's recovery and treatment. It is now a combined effort of expert professionals that all work as a team on behalf of the patient. 

The process of EBP mirrors the scientific process in that it proposes four repeatable steps that zone in the problem specifically. 

  • a) Inquiry- Framing the question. Just like in the scientific process, the first step is to identify the problem. 
  • b) Finding the evidence-Collect all the information needed about the patient as data. 
  • c)Triangulating the data- Making the assessment of what the data is showing. 
  • d) Making the final decision- Putting together a plan.

Parting from this discussion, the TEST-RETEST reliability is the faculty of repeating the same process twice and obtaining the same results. If the process produces the same results it means that it is reliable enough to be used as the norm: it has proven itself as a reliable tool because of its results.

For example, the four-step process of the EBP would be test-retest reliable because it is a process that leads toward the same outcome all the time. It is the same as the scientific method: its purpose, objective, goal, and outcome are predictable and the results are assumed to be entirely reliable.  

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