Exploring the Impact of a Structured Model of Journal Club in Allied Health–A Qualitative Study


Background: This paper presents the findings of a qualitative study associated with an experimental trial which examined the impact over time, of a structured model of journal club (JC) on the knowledge, skills and evidence uptake of allied health practitioners (AHPs). The primary aim of this qualitative study was to explore the experiences of AHPs regarding the use of iCAHE (International Centre for Allied Health Evidence) JC as a medium for evidence uptake. The secondary aim was to explain the quantitative findings in the iCAHE JC trial based on the perspectives of the JC members. Methods: Semi-structured individual interviews with purposively selected participants from the JCs were undertaken. The participants were asked about their experiences with the iCAHE JC, and to comment on the results of the iCAHE JC trial. Analysis of data was undertaken using the principles of the framework approach. Findings: A total of 12 AHPs participated in the interview. Their experiences of the JC were classified into seven themes: knowledge and confidence gain, convenience, empowerment, evidence utilisation, impediments, peculiarities, and refinements to iCAHE model. The participants found the current structure of JC suitable and useful in generating creative thinking about how practices can be influenced by research evidence. They identified ways of how they have used research evidence to inform their clinical decisions and described circumstances when research findings are not applicable to practice. The participants thought that the variability in EBP outcomes across disciplines found in the iCAHE JC trial was not surprising given that allied health disciplines operate using different models of care, and vary in terms of culture, attitude, professional orientation and the volume of evidence base available in their specific disciplines. There were a few minor suggestions to modify the current iCAHE model of JC. Conclusion: When lack of EBP knowledge and skills, and limited access to evidence sources are reported as barriers, they can be effectively addressed by running a structured JC such as the iCAHE JC. In instances when barriers other than lack of knowledge are present, more than one approach may be required. Future research should determine the impact of other approaches that may be integrated with the iCAHE JC to promote evidence uptake and sustain practice behaviour change.

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Lizarondo, L. , Kumar, S. and Grimmer-Somers, K. (2012) Exploring the Impact of a Structured Model of Journal Club in Allied Health–A Qualitative Study. Creative Education, 3, 1094-1100. doi: 10.4236/ce.2012.326164.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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