Instruments for assessing healthcare professionals' knowledge and skills of evidence-based practice: A scoping review

Elina Haavisto, Hannele Siltanen, Anna Tolvanen, Arja Holopainen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview Articlepeer-review

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Objective: The aim of this scoping review was to describe the instruments used to assess the knowledge and skills of evidence-based practice (EBP) in healthcare settings. Methods: A scoping review was undertaken. Three electronic databases (CINAHL, PubMed and Cochrane) were searched in January 2022. The search phrases consisted of the following terms: healthcare professionals, EBP, competence and instrument and their synonyms, keywords and MeSH terms. The database search was run without any limitations. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines were followed to support reporting. Results: Ultimately, 39 studies were included; most of them (35) were cross-sectional studies. The studies were conducted in 17 countries. A total of 17 evidence-based knowledge and skills instruments were identified. The Upton and Upton instrument was used in 19 studies. Twelve self-reported instruments were used only once. The psychometric properties of the instruments varied. The reliability was typically reported with Cronbach's alpha coefficient. The content of the EBP knowledge/skills instruments consists of five main categories: EBP, evaluation of current practice, preparation for the implementation of EBP, implementation of evidence and active participation in the development of EBP. Conclusion: Almost all instruments are self-assessment instruments. Validated knowledge tests should be further developed. The instruments emphasise the preparation for the implementation of EBP. Further research is needed to develop instruments for healthcare professionals to assess the knowledge and skills of the implementation of evidence.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2022
Publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal


  • evidence-based healthcare
  • healthcare professionals
  • Knowledge
  • knowledge test
  • skills

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


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