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Peer Review

EBM Tutorial Two: Forming a Clinical Question

by Keven Jeffery , Mary Blanchard , Lauren Maggio


Overall Numeric Rating:

4.75 stars
Content Quality: 4.75 stars
Effectiveness: 5 stars
Ease of Use: 4.75 stars
Reviewed: Feb 02, 2012 by Health Sciences
Overview: This brief (5-minutes) tutorial teaches the importance of, and the thought process for formulating a clinical query to research in evidence based medicine (EBM) resources. Freely available via Internet, it is one component of a series of brief tutorials on EBM, created at Boston University Medical Center. It is intended to follow part one, which explains EBM in general. The tutorial is comprised largely of textual outlines and steps, with case studies demonstrating concepts. The learner can develop their own clinical query based on the PICO method and case examples. Model examples are then given through demonstration of the concepts and steps. The tutorial contains two PDF documents (guide to forming the clinical question, and a worksheet for students) that would likely be of help to instructors in preparing content for classes.
Type of Material: The learning resource is classified as a tutorial.
Recommended Uses: The tutorial could be used in undergraduate or graduate level research, Evidence-Based Medicine, or Evidence-Based Nursing classes. This tutorial can be used independently as an introduction to clinical queries related to evidence based practice in healthcare, or as a demonstration in class.
Technical Requirements: The technical requirements include a computer with an Internet browser such as Internet Explorer 7 or higher or Mozilla Firefox, with JavaScript enabled.
Identify Major Learning Goals: The stated learning objectives are the the user will learn -The impact of the clinical question on EBM research -The key elements of a clinical question -How to form an answerable clinical question -The role of the clinical question in the overall EBM process
Target Student Population: The student target populations would include bachelor's, graduate and post-Graduate students (nursing, medicine, and allied health).
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: There are no learning pre-requisites.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.75 stars
Strengths: EBM Tutorial Part Two provides accurate description of a core task for decision making regarding patient care: defining a clinical query through the standard PICO method. It provides references to the key terms and key literature on the subject. Provides the necessary basis for researching evidence for medical practices. Graphically portrays a clear simplified model for practicing EBM.
Concerns: None.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: EBM Tutorial Part Two provides a clear and concise depiction of clinical query formulation. Learning goals are stated at the outset, as well as the estimated time required for this segment of the tutorial series. The outline and graphical format quickly convey concepts better than narrative text or a lecture could do. The Q & A portions are useful to engage the learner in self assessment of prior knowledge, yet responses are not required to proceed through the material. Concepts contained in the tutorial are useful for a range of disciplines in the health care field.
Concerns: None.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4.75 stars
Strengths: The self-paced format is convenient to browse and is flexible for the student. Navigation back and forth is easy and error free. The visual design is simple and non-distracting from the content, including basic flowcharts to reinforce the steps being learned. Relevant terms are clearly defined. Because parts of this series can be reviewed separately and references to documentary literature are included, the tutorial is a good study aid on the basics of approaching a clinical question. Use of the tutorial requires no plug-ins. The buttons to advance and review previous screens are easy to identify, and the embedded links work.
Concerns: In the last slide, clicking on the links for the cited textbooks leads the user to a login screen for Boston University library, which then requires a login to access.

Other Issues and Comments: None