Re-evaluating Healthcare Interventions: Moving Towards Evidence-Based Practice


Healthcare is changing rapidly and ideas and methods that had value in the past need to be re-evaluated as we move towards healthcare reform, integrate evidence-based practice and/or best practices, and work towards achieving positive patient outcomes and educate nurses who will be prepared to practice in this ever changing health care environment.

  • Recall a situation when you were asked to perform a specific intervention and/or practice idea based on authority or tradition.
  • Describe the the intervention or practice.
  • Based on your knowledge of evidence-based practice, does this practice still hold value now?
  • Use an Evidence-Based Guideline or nursing specialty organization Standard of Practice to support your answer.


Re-evaluating Healthcare Interventions: Moving Towards Evidence-Based Practice


In the rapidly changing landscape of healthcare, it is essential to continually evaluate the value and effectiveness of interventions and practices. As we strive for healthcare reform, integration of evidence-based practice, and positive patient outcomes, it is crucial to question practices rooted in authority or tradition. This essay will recall a situation when I was asked to perform a specific intervention based on authority or tradition, analyze its current value based on evidence-based practice, and support my answer using an Evidence-Based Guideline or nursing specialty organization Standard of Practice.

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Recalled Intervention or Practice

In my experience, I encountered a situation where I was asked to perform routine back rubs for patients to promote relaxation and comfort. This practice had been deeply ingrained in nursing culture, often based on the authority of experienced nurses and the tradition of holistic care. Back rubs were often seen as a standard nursing intervention aimed at improving patient well-being.

Analysis of Current Value

However, when examining the current value of back rubs as an intervention, evidence-based practice suggests a need for re-evaluation. While relaxation and comfort are important components of nursing care, there is a lack of substantial evidence to support the efficacy of back rubs in achieving these outcomes. The focus on evidence-based practice encourages nurses to explore interventions that are backed by research and have proven effectiveness.

To support this argument, let us refer to the Evidence-Based Guideline provided by the American Society of PeriAnesthesia Nurses (ASPAN) for relaxation interventions. According to this guideline, relaxation techniques should be tailored to individual patient needs and preferences. While massage therapy is mentioned as an option, there is no specific mention of routine back rubs. Instead, the guideline emphasizes the importance of engaging patients in a collaborative decision-making process, utilizing evidence-based interventions, and evaluating their effectiveness.

Furthermore, the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, a reputable source of evidence, conducted a review in 2015 titled “Massage for promoting mental and physical health in typically developing infants under the age of six months.” The review concluded that there is insufficient evidence to support the effectiveness of massage in promoting physical or mental health outcomes in infants.


Based on the principles of evidence-based practice and the lack of substantial evidence supporting the efficacy of routine back rubs, it is essential to re-evaluate this intervention in the current healthcare environment. As we strive for positive patient outcomes and adapt to healthcare reforms, nurses must be prepared to critically assess interventions, consider the available evidence, and utilize practices that align with best practices. By embracing evidence-based guidelines and nursing specialty organization standards of practice, we can ensure the provision of high-quality care that is based on the best available evidence and promotes positive patient outcomes in this ever-changing healthcare environment.

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