Tailoring Research Evidence and Theory (TREAT) into Allied Health Journal Clubs: An Implementation Study

Dr Rachel Wenke1,3, Dr Jodie Wiseman2, Dr Caitlin Brandenburg1, Dr Paulina Stehlik2, Dr Ian Hughes1, Mrs Katherine Richards1, Dr Sharon Mickan2

1Gold Coast Health, Southport, Australia, 2Bond University, Robina, Australia, 3Griffith University (Academic Title), Southport, Australia

Background: Journal clubs (JCs) are commonly used by Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) to support Evidence-Based Practice (EBP). There is however little research about how AHPs should best implement JCs sustainably, and their impact on EBP use and skills.

Aim: This study investigated which implementation strategies are most effective for AHPs in implementing a structured JC format, (“TREAT”) and the impact of this JC format on EBP skills, confidence, use and clinical practice.

Methods: A mixed methods design was employed, guided by the Knowledge-to-Action cycle. EBP confidence, use and skills were assessed (EBPQ, Adapted Fresno Test) across three time-points: at baseline, and after participating in 10 and 16-monthly JC sessions. Satisfaction, impact on clinical practice, and usefulness of implementation strategies were also explored using questionnaires and focus groups at the latter two time-points.

Results: Six JCs participated (83 AHPs from 7 professions). Data after 10 JC sessions indicated significantly improved EBP skills (Adapted Fresno: p=<0.05) and significantly improved self-reported frequency of EBP use and EBP confidence (EBPQ: p= <0.05). Clinicians reported 25 new treatments/resources being adopted, and 20 procedures updated following TREAT participation. Qualitative results revealed strategies helpful for implementation including prioritisation and development of PICOs as a group, and librarian support. Data collected at the final time-point (after 16 JC-sessions) will also be presented.

Conclusion: TREAT JCs can be effectively implemented and sustained by AHPs for at least 10 monthly-sessions. This may improve EBP skills and confidence,  frequency of EBP use, and lead to changes in clinical practice.


Dr Rachel Wenke completed her PhD at the University of Queensland in 2008. Since this time, she has worked as a clinical speech pathologist in the area of rehabilitation and led a number of clinical research projects. For the past 7 years, Rachel has also been working as an Allied Health Research Fellow for Gold Coast Health where she mentors allied health clinicians to use and participate in research to optimise clinical care.

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