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Unit of study_

HSBH3005: Evidence Based Health Care

Evidence-based health care is the conscientious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individuals or the delivery of health services. This unit will introduce students to evidence-based health care by developing an understanding of knowledge and evidence, and critical appraisal skills to inform decision-making in health care policy and practice.


Academic unit Health Sciences
Unit code HSBH3005
Unit name Evidence Based Health Care
Session, year
Semester 2, 2021
Attendance mode Normal day
Location Remote
Credit points 6

Enrolment rules

HSBH1007 or HSBH2007
Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff and contact details

Coordinator Rachel Thompson,
Administrative staff SHS Education Support:
Type Description Weight Due Length
Tutorial quiz Quiz
10% Week 03 25 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2
Assignment group assignment Group annotated bibliography
Group annotated bibliography
20% Week 08 1000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO4 LO7 LO5
Assignment Critical appraisal essay
Critical appraisal essay
70% Week 12 2000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7
group assignment = group assignment ?

There are three assessments for this unit:

  1. Quiz: Students will complete a multiple choice quiz based on material covered in Weeks 1 and 2.
  2. Group annotated bibliography: Groups will prepare an annotated bibliography of a journal article as a poster.
  3. Critical appraisal essay: Students will gather and critically appraise evidence corresponding to a health care question of their choice.

All assessments must be submitted in order to be eligible to pass the unit. If any assessments are not submitted, an AF (Absent Fail) grade will be awarded.

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at an exceptional standard


75 - 84

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at a very high standard


65 - 74

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at a good standard


50 - 64

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at an acceptable standard


0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard

For more information see

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

This unit has an exception to the standard University policy or supplementary information has been provided by the unit coordinator. This information is displayed below:

Please advise the Unit Coordinator if you are unable to attend two or more tutorials

Special consideration

If you experience short-term circumstances beyond your control, such as illness, injury or misadventure or if you have essential commitments which impact your preparation or performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website provides information on academic honesty, academic dishonesty, and the resources available to all students.

The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic dishonesty or plagiarism seriously.

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic dishonesty. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of dishonesty, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Introduction to evidence-based health care Lecture (2 hr)  
Week 02 Gathering evidence Lecture (2 hr)  
The PICO framework Tutorial (1 hr)  
Week 03 Skills for critical appraisal Lecture (2 hr)  
Constructing a PICO question Tutorial (1 hr)  
Week 04 Experimental and observational research Lecture (2 hr)  
Database search strategies Tutorial (1 hr)  
Week 05 Diagnosis and prognosis research Lecture (2 hr)  
Concepts in risk of bias appraisal Tutorial (1 hr)  
Week 06 Understanding statistics Lecture (2 hr)  
Tools for critical appraisal Tutorial (1 hr)  
Week 07 Systematic reviews Lecture (2 hr)  
Introduction to an annotated bibliography Tutorial (1 hr)  
Week 08 Qualitative research Lecture (2 hr)  
Interpreting and applying research findings Tutorial (1 hr)  
Week 09 Appraising online health information Online class (3 hr)  
Week 10 User involvement in evidence-based health care Lecture (2 hr)  
Shared decision-making and patient decision aids Tutorial (1 hr)  
Week 11 Clinical guidelines and clinical reasoning Lecture (2 hr)  
Dissemination and impact Tutorial (1 hr)  
Week 12 Implementing evidence Lecture (2 hr)  
Designing implementation programs Tutorial (1 hr)  
Week 13 Unit synthesis and review Lecture (2 hr)  
Revision Tutorial (1 hr)  

Attendance and class requirements

This unit will be delivered fully online in Semester 2 2021.

Lecture materials will be uploaded to Canvas for online learning in your own time.

One-hour tutorials will take place via Zoom on Tuesdays at 11am and 12pm, beginning in Week 2. Students are required to attend one tutorial each week. Please inform the Unit Coordinator if there are two or more tutorials that you are unable to attend.

Detailed information on attendance and class requirements will be available on Canvas.



Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

All textbooks and readings for this unit can be accessed through the Library eReserve, available on Canvas.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University’s graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. understand that health-related decision-making should be based on scientific evidence
  • LO2. define a clinical question using the patient, intervention, comparison, outcome (PICO) model
  • LO3. search for relevant scientific publications to answer a health-related question
  • LO4. evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of different study designs in the context of diagnosis, treatment, prognosis, and risk
  • LO5. assess the appropriate use and interpretation of descriptive and inferential statistics and reliability and validity
  • LO6. critically appraise scientific reviews in relation to the review question, selection criteria, study validity, conclusion and applicability to a health care question
  • LO7. conduct a critical appraisal of available evidence for a particular health issue

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities
No changes have been made to the unit in response to student feedback since the unit was last offered


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