Assessing understanding of the principles of evidence-based practice and their application: a qualitative study of decision-making among Senior Management in Nova Scotia's addiction services
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Provision of a high standard of care in addiction treatment and prevention services is dependent upon knowledge of evidence-based practice (EBP) principles, and the skills needed to apply those principles, among the substance abuse workforce (SAW). Competency profiles for Canada’s SAW define the need for skill and knowledge of EBP. Within Canada’s SAW, persons within the Occupational Cluster Senior Management are ultimately responsible for decisions and therefore must possess a high level of proficiency in EBP. This proficiency has not been assessed in this group; the objective of this study was to conduct such an assessment on Senior Management from Nova Scotia’s Addiction Services. Eighteen Senior Managers completed semi-structured qualitative interviews. Interviews were analyzed using content analysis, five main themes emerged. It appears that Senior Management possess an understanding of the principles of EBP, but that their knowledge and use of the skills required for their application requires further development.