Knowledge, attitudes and practices of mental healthcare providers regarding the evidence-based practice in the Gaza Strip

Sally Suhail Ibrahim Saleh
سالي سهيل إبراهيم صالح
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Al-Quds University
Evidence-based practice is spreading in many healthcare disciplines. One of its main features is the reliance on the partnership among the three fundamental components, the best research evidence, the clinician expertise, and the client preference. This study is a mixed method one that includes both quantitative and qualitative components. A total of 135 participants (66 men, 69 women) participated in the quantitative part with a response rate of 83.3%, and 10 participants joined the qualitative part. The quantitative component followed the census approach in which the researcher recruited all the mental healthcare providers in the Gaza Strip. The method of sampling for the qualitative part was purposive sampling. The quantitative data was collected via online questionnaire. The qualitative data was collected through face-to-face interviews. The reliability of the total scale is very good as the alpha Cronbach= 0.756. The quantitative data was analyzed using the SPSS software by conducting descriptive, frequency, and inferential statistics. The qualitative data was analyzed via the content thematic analysis using the NVivo software to find out the most common themes and codes. Findings show that those who had up to bachelor degree represented 37.7% of the respondents, and those who had postgraduate studies represented 62.3%. Most of the participants (78.5%) were graduated from local universities, and 77.8% of the participants were working in technical positions. The results show that 81.5% of the participants used the evidence- based practice during the daily practice, but the frequency and the sources of evidence were not sufficient. The overall knowledge score among the participants was 66.05% and the overall attitude score toward the evidence- based practice was 60.76%. The overall practice score was 71.27%, but the actual implementation was not good enough. The qualitative results showed that the knowledge, attitudes and practices are not systematic nor sufficient to fulfil the mental health needs. In addition, they were humble and depended on personal motives mainly. The institutional factors were obvious in inhibiting the evidence- based practice due to the lack of sufficient infrastructure, poor system for the evidence- based practice, lack of policies, unsupportive management, and poor culture. The institutional barriers to implement the evidence- based practice included lack of policies, and absence of good appraisal system. The individual barriers to implement the evidence- based practice included poor research and statistical analysis skills and lack of knowledge about the evidence- based practice and its significance. The inferential statistics show that there were no significant differences in relation to the age, residency, profession, type of university or the profession type indicating that issues around evidence-based is a cross-the-board. The study concluded that the knowledge, attitudes, and practices about the evidence- based practice needs further improvement and development through initiating supporting policies and strategies that promote the use of evidence base in daily practices.