University of Technology Sydney

92568 Evidence-based Practice for Health Professionals

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2022 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Health
Credit points: 6 cp
Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


This subject aims to provide underpinning knowledge and skills required for evidence-based practice in health sciences. It provides an interactive forum for students to develop lifelong learning skills and critical thinking. Students are introduced to the principles of evidence-based practice through individual and collaborative learning opportunities, develop skills to access the best available evidence and critically appraise different levels of evidence for validity and usefulness. These skills are central to the making of informed decision and delivery of the highest quality possible health care.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
A. Discuss the role of evidence based practice in delivering effective, safe, and cost effective health care.
B. Develop focused and searchable question, and conduct an appropriate systematic search to access the best available evidence.
C. Apply critical appraisal tools to systematically evaluate the validity, strengths, and weaknesses of the available evidence and select the best available evidence to inform practice.
D. Interpret the results and significance of the research.
E. Make sound decisions on the usefulness and applicability of research evidence.
F. Discuss the barriers and facilitators in the practice of evidence-based health care.

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the following graduate attributes:

  • Demonstrate creative and adaptive thinking within a changeable social, political and technological environment (2.0)
  • Identify opportunities for change and support others through change processes (2.4)
  • Use an assets-based approach to engender effective communication, collaboration and leadership (3.0)
  • Translate research and evaluation into social and professional practice through critical thinking and knowledge integration (5.0)
  • Identify appropriate information resources and apply effective and creative solutions for the improvement of individuals and communities (5.1)
  • Critically evaluate research and practice for socially driven change (5.3)

Teaching and learning strategies

Learning the key concepts of evidence based practice will occur through a combination of face-to-face and online lectures and tutorials as well as interactive learning activities. Face-to-face lectures and tutorials will use case studies, interactive workshops and practical examples from the contemporary peer-reviewed literature and will enable students to quickly clarify complex research concepts. Part of the content for this subject will be delivered as online learning modules, facilitating self-paced and time-flexible learning. Students will also benefit from engaging and collaborative learning environments through working within teams and participating in online peer discussions.
Online library modules and individual consultations with a librarian will help students enhance their skills in systematic literature searching. UTSOnline will be used exclusively for posting all lecture materials, readings and for staff/student communication.

Content (topics)

This subject offers an introduction to evidence based practice and related approaches, frameworks and methods. Students will develop practical skills in: developing a research question; carrying out systematic database searches to find relevant evidence; choosing appropriate measures; critically appraising qualitative research, systematic reviews and clinical practice guidelines; and identifying barriers and facilitators to research translation. Students will apply these skills through developing a personal improvement project (PIP). The subject will also develop students' understanding of key concepts in bio-statistics, quality improvement and implementation science.


Assessment task 1: Ask and acquire


This assessment intends to provide students with an opportunity to receive feedback in preparation for Assessment 2 and Assessment 3.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, B and E

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

2.0, 2.4, 3.0 and 5.1

Weight: 15%

Assessment guidelines and marking criteria will detail the assessment requirements further and will be made available in UTSOnline.

Assessment task 2: Understanding of research concepts


The intent of this assignment is to allow students the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of research concepts and process and apply them their knowledge to case studies and scenarios.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

C, D, E and F

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

2.0 and 5.0

Weight: 35%

Assessment guidelines and marking criteria will detail the assessment requirements further and will be made available in UTSOnline.

Assessment task 3: Personal improvement project


The intent of this assignment is to provide students with the opportunity to apply processes of evidence-based practice covered in the subject to a personal improvement project (PIP).


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

B, C, D, E and F

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

5.0, 5.1 and 5.3

Weight: 50%

Assessment guidelines and marking criteria will detail the assessment requirements further and will be made available in UTSOnline.

Required texts

Hoffmann, T., Bennett, S & Del Mar, C. 2013, Evidence based practice across the health professionals, 2e, Elsevier, Sydney.

Alemi, F., Neuhauser, D., Ardito, S., Headrick, L., Moore, S., Hekelman, F. & Norman, L. 2000, 'Continuous self-improvement: systems thinking in a personal context', Jt Comm J Qual Improv, vol. 26, no. 2, pp. 74-86.

Neuhauser, D., Myhre, S., & Alemi, F. 2004, Personal continuous quality improvement workbook, Seventh Edition.


Aveyard, H., 2013, A beginner's guide to evidence based practice in health and social care professions, Open University Press, Maidenhead.

Guyatt, G. 2008, Users' guides to the medical literature : a manual for evidence-based clinical practice, McGraw-Hill Medical, New York.

Liamputtong, P. (ed.) 2017, Research methods in health: Foundations for evidence-based practice, 3e, Oxford University Press, Melbourne.

Melnyk, B. & Finaout-overholt, E. 2011, Evidence-based practice in nursing and healthcare, 2e, Wolters Kluwer, Philadelphia.

Nagy, S., Mills, J., Birks, M. & Waters, D. 2010, Using research in health care practice, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Sydney.

Other resources

UTS Student Centre
Building 10

Monday to Friday: 9am - 5pm
Tel: 1300 ASK UTS (1300 275 887)

Details for student centres:

For other resources/ information refer to the Faculty of Health website ( and UTSOnline at:

UTS Library
The Library has a wide range of resources, facilities and services to support you including textbooks, subject readings, health literature databases, workshops and bookable study rooms. There is also a team of librarians to help you with your questions available via online chat, phone and in person. W:, Facebook: utslibrary, Twitter: @utslibrary Tel: (02) 9514 3666.

Improve your academic and English language skills
Marks for all assessment tasks such as assignments and examinations are given not only for what you write but also for how you write. If you would like the opportunity to improve your academic and English language skills, make an appointment with the HELPS (Higher Education Language & Presentation Support) Service in Student Services.

HELPS (Higher Education Language & Presentation Support)
HELPS provides assistance with English language proficiency and academic language. Students who need to develop their written and/or spoken English should make use of the free services offered by HELPS, including academic language workshops, vacation intensive courses, drop-in consultations, individual appointments and Conversations@UTS ( HELPS staff are also available for drop-in consultations at the UTS Library. Phone (02) 9514 9733.

Please see for additional information on other resources provided to students by UTS.