Harden, R. M; Grant, Janet; Buckley, Graham and Hart, I. R.
Best evidence medical education.
Advances in Health Sciences Education, 5(1)
There is a need to move from opinion-based education to evidence-based education. Best Evidence Medical Education (BEME) is the implementation, by teachers in their practice, of methods and approaches to education based on the best evidence available. It involves a professional judgement by the teacher about their teaching taking into account a number of factors — the QUESTS dimensions. The Quality of the research evidence available — how reliable is the evidence?, the Utility of the evidence — can the methods be transferred and adopted without modification?, the Extent of the evidence, theStrength of the evidence, the Target or outcomes measured — how valid is the evidence? and the Setting or context — how relevant is the evidence?
The evidence available can be graded on each of the six dimensions. In the ideal situation the evidence is high on all six dimensions, but this is rarely found. Usually the evidence may be good in some respects, but poor in others. The teacher has to balance the different dimensions and come to a decision on a course of action based on his or her professional judgement.
The QUESTS dimensions highlight a number of tensions with regard to the evidence in medical education:quality v relevance; quality v validity; and utility v the setting or context. The different dimensions reflect the nature of research and innovation. Best Evidence Medical Education encourages a culture or ethos in which decision making takes place in this context.
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