Developing evidence-based practice in population health at the local level: Qualitative insights can complement quantitative needs assessment.
Armita Adily, Wendell Peacock and Jeanette Ward
Australian Journal of Primary Health
11(2) 96 - 105
In Australia, momentum has been steadily increasing to strengthen evidence-based policy and practice in population health, yet very little research has been reported that helps managers of population health services to change culture and reward an evidence-based approach. We had previously conducted a quantitative needs assessment with a regional population health workforce in Sydney. We then designed a complementary qualitative study to ensure that we understood underlying dimensions and perceptions. We analysed textual material and also conducted semi-structured interviews with 12 staff who were purposefully sampled. Not only was the value of qualitative enquiry recognised by staff as a complement to the previous quantitative needs assessment, we also discovered positive and negative views about the current promotion of evidence-based practice (EBP) and novel ways to overcome barriers and build capacity, including the development of core competencies, that has subsequently occurred. Furthermore, our contextualised assessment of local constructions of EBP also revealed underpinning tensions that will likely confront others who seek to build greater capacity for EBP in primary care.
Full text doi:10.1071/PY05027
© La Trobe University 2005