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Finding the Research for Evidence-based Practice is a Course

Finding the Research for Evidence-based Practice

Started Jul 20, 2018

$39 Enroll

Full course description

Program Title: Professional Certificate in Evidence-Based Research and Informed Practice

Format:  On-Demand, Self-paced tutorial format

Course Developer:  Daryl Nault, MS, MSiMR

Category: Professional and Continuing Education – Professional Certificate

Location: Online

Credential: Certificate of Completion

CEUs: Various professional organizations and boards may accept this offering for continuing education requirements. Please verify with your respective relevant professional organization and email with questions.

Registration Fee(s): 

$149 for complete Professional Certificate* *SAVINGS of $50 for certificate package purchase!*

$39 for individual module registration

Who should participate:

Complementary and integrative health practitioners or any clinician interested in learning how to conduct evidence-based research and applying evidence-informed practices to improve patient outcomes.

Pre-requisites:  None

Certificate Program Description:

This program supports critical analysis of a wide-range of integrative health studies. It provides future integrative medicine professionals with the foundational knowledge and skills to identify and evaluate research design and basic statistics. You will develop skills in searching databases as well as critical reading and utilization of basic, clinical, epidemiological, and related research, as well as find and evaluate published information on health topics, then summarize and share these findings.

Professional Certificate in Evidence-Based Research and Informed Integrative Practice Introduction:

Evidence-Informed Practice involves the process of integrating research evidence, clinical experience, and patient preferences into the art of healthcare decision making. For some practitioners, how to seek, find, and appraise relevant literature to form a body of research evidence is still a challenging task. In this course, you will learn how to systematically apply the basics of research design, information literacy, and basic medical statistics to search, acquire, and appraise relevant literature on clinical questions. You’ll navigate a study the same way that researchers do to come to comprehensive and thorough evaluations of evidence. We will make use of the course texts, online tutorials, recent literature, and appraisal tools to help you along the way.

Certificate Learning Outcomes:

By the end of the 5-courses, you will be able to:

                 Explain the relevance and challenges of research in complementary and integrative healthcare
                 Identify different types of research designs and summaries (i.e., qualitative studies, case-control studies, cohort studies, basic science studies, explanatory and pragmatic randomized controlled trials, systematic reviews, and meta-analyses) and describe the advantages and disadvantages of each type
                 Ask a specific clinical question and systematically retrieve the relevant literature.
                 Use the structure of published literature to aid in deconstructing and translating research studies.
                 Identify and explain statistical concepts frequently used in healthcare research (i.e., percentages, mean, median, standard deviation, P value, confidence intervals, odds ratio, hazard ratio, and number needed to treat), and apply these concepts to appraise the results of research studies.
                 Appraise literature for internal validity as well as applicability to a specific client or population.
                 Gain a foundational understanding of evidence-based summary research as well as the strengths and limitations of summary resources in complementary and integrative health practice.

Course 1 - Foundations of Research Design

This is the first of 5 courses required to earn the Professional Certificate in Evidence-Based Research and Informed Integrative Practice. This first course, Foundations of Research Design, sets the stage for approaching evidence as a meaningful tool in clinical practice. It begins by considering the importance of health research and explores the reciprocal relationship possible between health research and clinical experience. Additionally, this course covers the challenges specific to conducting integrative health research.

You will examine the ways perspective influences the use of evidence in an integrative practice and the role historical research has played in shaping the current bioethics landscape. Foundations of Research Design concludes by covering the most common research characteristics and designs with a focus on how these elements impact the application of research in a real-world context.

                 Identify how multiple perspectives affect research interpretation
                 Understand why clinical experience alone is insufficient for making clinical decisions
                 Select specific challenges of conducting and interpreting research in integrative health
                 Understand the relationship between the evidence hierarchy and internal/external validity
                 Recognize the relationship between validity and personal perspective/bias
                 Define research evidence and describe the importance of research in healthcare
                 Recognize the general characteristics of different types of research (basic science, clinical, observational, qualitative, and health services)
                 Identify the basic types of study design used in contemporary healthcare research

Course 2 – Finding and Selecting Appropriate Evidence

This is the second of 5 courses required to earn the Professional Certificate in Evidence-Based Research and Informed Integrative Practice. This second course, Finding and Selecting Appropriate Evidence, focuses on asking the right questions, searching for evidence, and ultimately weeding through search returns to determine whether the information found applies to practice. You will review PubMed tutorials to become familiarized with the PubMed search process. The resources have been designed to walk you through the process of asking a clinical question, molding that question into a search, and deciding what evidence is appropriate to your original research questions.

Upon completion of Finding and Selecting Appropriate Evidence, you will be able to:

                 Apply the PICO format in designing well-built clinical questions.
                 Convert a PICO-formatted question into effective search terms suitable for a Clinical Query.
                 Construct an effective PubMed Clinical Query.
                 Interpret the function of a search string to ensure it serves its intended purpose.
                 Apply knowledge of MeSH terms, booleans, and filters to improve the relevancy of a literature search.
                 Screen abstracts from a database-generated list for inclusion/exclusion regarding a specific PICO-formatted research question.
                 Evaluate the appropriateness of a search return using study titles, abstracts, and introductions, if available.
                 Describe primary and summary sources of clinical research.
                 Perform a reproducible literature search and appraise relevant search returns intended to answer a specific clinical question.

Course 3 - Primary Research Evidence Appraisal

This is the third of 5 courses required to earn the Professional Certificate in Evidence-Based Research and Informed Integrative Practice.

Part of research appraisal is the consideration of how human bias may impact both the research itself and your interpretation of it. During this course, you will address your personal biases. This course has a special focus on primary research and the consideration of research design as it relates to the interpretation and appraisal of evidence.

Throughout this course, you will again be using the Harris text and review several research papers for future appraisal. These articles are referenced multiple times throughout the course and future courses, so it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself. Resources are selected to guide you in critical analysis and interpretation of research evidence.

Upon completion of Primary Research Evidence Appraisal, you will be able to:

                 Draw a connection between personal bias and research interpretation.
                 Identify the subject of a Risk Ratio assessment.
                 Explain the concepts of internal, external, and model validity.
                 Deconstruct published literature to aid in translating peer-reviewed research.
                 Apply knowledge of common observational research designs (e.g., case-control, cohort) to appraise evidence.
                 Interpret the “introduction” section of specific observational and interventional research publications for content and applicability.
                 Recognize statistically significant clinical values.
                 Evaluate the “materials and methods” section of specific observational and interventional research publications for internal validity and applicability.

Course 4 - Understanding Study Results

This is the fourth of 5 courses required to earn the Professional Certificate in Evidence-Based Research and Informed Integrative Practice.

There are reasons that study results are in the headlines of news articles; often they are the most exciting part! In contrast, the statistical analysis is sometimes glazed over, even though it's what drives the results themselves. In this course, we will approach the statistics you are most likely to come across in research studies. We will focus mostly on the interpretation and translation of statistics within the context of a study.

Before we can appraise study results, we will want to understand the statistics that were used. In this course, we will complete study appraisals. The Medical Statistics Made Easy (Harris & Taylor, 2014)  and Clinical Evidence Made Easy: The basics of evidence-based medicine (Harris, Taylor, Jackson, 2014) texts provide a more in-depth perspective on understanding  RCT, Case Control, Cohort Studies, and statistical results within this context and are useful resources when appraising studies.

Upon completion of Understanding Study Results, you will be able to:

                 Analyze research findings in the form of p-values, confidence intervals, and effect size.
                 Describe the difference between statistical significance and clinical significance, and the importance of each research findings.
                 Apply the concepts of descriptive statistics: central tendency (mean, median, mode) and spread (range, quartiles, variance, standard deviation) to a research article.
                 Apply knowledge of statistical testing commonly found in interventional research (T-tests, Chi-Squared, and Analysis of Variance) toward results interpretation.
                 Apply knowledge of statistical testing commonly found in observational studies (Odds Ratios, Risk Ratios, Regression Models) toward results interpretation.
                 Evaluate the results section of specific research publications for quality and transparency.

Course 5 - Secondary Research Appraisal and Applications

This is the last of 5 courses required to earn the Professional Certificate in Evidence-Based Research and Informed Integrative Practice.

In this final course, we will combine all of the concepts we have covered in previous courses to understand Summary Research better. This type of research includes Systematic Reviews, Meta-Analyses, Literature Reviews, Clinical Guidelines, and even Evidence-based Texts. You’ve heard a bit about some of these throughout the course, but now we will get to dig in and put the information together. In this final course, we will wrap up by learning what all of this means within the context of evidence-based research and informed practices.

We will start out this course with the primary research papers that you may already be very familiar with. Our first task will be a risk of bias assessment of these papers. It may seem daunting at first, but if you look closely, you’ll probably notice that you may have answered some of these questions already! From there, we will progress to the different types of summary research with some help from the Harris “Clinical Evidence Made Easy” text. To conclude, we will continue using "Clinical Evidence Made easy', supplemented with our course resources.

Upon successful completion of Secondary Research Appraisal and Applications, you will be able to:

                 Complete a risk of bias assessment by applying knowledge of methodological biases in research.
                 Perform a complete risk of bias assessment.
                 Interpret basic statistics commonly used in summary research.
                 Examine the findings from published summary/review papers for application in evidence-based practice.

What you will get:

  • Lifetime access to the course content for use in practice
  • Course handouts and resources
  • Certificate of Completion (upon successful achievement of program assessments)
  • Skills and knowledge to learn how to conduct research grounded in evidence and how to apply evidence-informed practice in clinical settings

*CEUs should be verified with the individual professional organization(s) for which you are seeking continuing education credit.

Course Developer Bio:  Daryl Nault, MS, MSiMR

Research Background

Daryl Nault has experience assisting with integrative health studies ranging from basic science bench work and clinical trials to qualitative analysis and systematic reviews. According to Daryl, she centers her interest on exploring “health cognition” to involve the exploration of how and why humans process health information within the confines of one's minds. She continues to share that this is centered on the appropriate use of secondary data analysis. Daryl is currently working on publishing her thesis in the area of electronic health literacy in herbal supplement users, as well as a portion on the influence of media on the general understanding of scientific evidence.

Education and Experience

Daryl Nault earned a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology at Roanoke College. Her professional career began in mental health, where she remained for several years. During this time, Daryl focused primarily on behavior change techniques. Next, she started a career in fitness and wellness, where she learned and taught nutrition and lifestyle modification strategies. While working full time, Daryl earned a Masters of Science in Nutrition from the University of Bridgeport. Most recently, she honed her Complementary and Integrative Health research skills at the Helfgott Research Institute (of the National University of Natural Medicine) in Portland, Oregon. 

Daryl's first Masters of Science in Nutrition was earned virtually through the University of Bridgeport. Therefore, she prides herself on the ability to relate to the experiences of some online learners. She shares that, "although these courses are not easy, the experience is definitely worth the skills gained."

 Registration Notes:

*MUIH faculty, staff, students, alumni may be eligible for discounted rates. Registration coupon codes can be requested from

For questions about this offering or CEUs, contact

For registration technical support, please contact 1-844-414-5052 or

Refund Policy:  This self-based program is non-refundable upon purchase.