The Health State Government Department is the Executive Branch of the Federal District that covers 20 health units. The Brazilian Unified Health System is one of the largest public health systems in the world with universal and free access for all the population. The School of Health Sciences is a Public Higher Education Institution, linked to the State Department of Health of the Federal District, which, in addition to undergraduate courses in Medicine and Nursing, offers the Multiprofessional and Academic Master Program in Health.
To demonstrate the steps for implementing an evidence-based health discipline in a Master's program and the dificulties faced by the students and the professors.
We established the following content for the program:
1) searching on the main databases;
2) critical literature review;
3) synthesis of evidence and its application to health policies;
4) the steps required to conduct a systematic literature review;
5) Review Manager software; and
6) the Covidence platform.
The content was presented at 15 meetings and at the end, the students presented a scoping review on diverse health topics. To bring the students closer to evidence-based health concepts, we conducted a symposium called SISBE 2017, which was attended by 136 participants. Among the speakers, the director of the Brazilian Cochrane Center, Dr Álvaro Atallah spoke about the history of evidence-based medicine.
We found that students from different health fields (medicine, psychology, pharmacy, physiotherapy, dentistry and nursing) were unaware of the basic concepts of evidence-based health, such as risk of bias assessment of randomized clinical trials. The greatest difficulty was explaining how to construct a search strategy in databases. The difficulties faced by the professors included the discrepancy between students regarding english language level, knowledge of design studies methodology, and the choice of the topics to be discussed.
Through the discipline, we established a connection between students from different professions and evidence-based health. The goal is to perform studies involving knowledge translation, development of systematic reviews of literature, implementation of evidence synthesis in clinical practice, and annual realization of symposium.