Evidence-based health care (EBH) is the conscientious, explicit, judicious and reasonable use of the best available evidence to make decisions about the care of individual patients, integrating clinical experience, patients' values, and the best available information. Achieving significant learning and skills in EBH practice is a desirable objective during the undergraduate training of health professionals.
To assess EBH contents in the curricula of undergraduate health careers in Chile.
This is a descriptive study oriented to the search, review and synthesis of EBH-related contents included in all health careers in Chile. We identified professional careers across the country at a website created by the Ministry of Education, using the term 'health' in the 'area of knowledge'. After retrieving the list of careers, we analysed the curricula at the website of each university, identifying terms related to evidence-based. In those core curricula with a course on EBH, we extracted information regarding the semester/s and level at which the course was taught and its duration. Whenever the curriculum did not specify an EBH course, we made a further analysis of the syllabi of the related courses to determine inclusion.
There are 49 universities that offer health careers in Chile, including Nursing, Phonoaudiology, Kinesiology, Nutrition, Medicine, Midwifery, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Medical Technology and Occupational Therapy. Careers that explicitly include courses of EBH are: Nursing, Kinesiology, Medicine, Midwifery, Dentistry, Medical Technology, Occupational Therapy and Pharmacy. However, this inclusion does not exceed 21% of the total number of universities offering these careers. The duration of the training ranges from 1 to 2 semesters, and the semester in which the course is taught is variable within the same career and between the different disciplines.
The inclusion of EBH contents in health careers in Chile is uncommon. Considering the relevance of EBH in the improvement of quality of care and shared decision-making in health, it is becoming necessary to consider EBH more seriously in the future.
Patient or healthcare consumer involvement:
This research was conducted by a multidisciplinary team composed of health professionals and educators from different careers.