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Chapter 10: Mentoring and teaching of evidence-based pharmacy
  1. Phil Wiffen1,
  2. Tommy Eriksson2,
  3. Hao Lu3
  1. 1Pain Research Unit, Churchill Hospital, Oxford, UK
  2. 2Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Laboratory Medicine, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
  3. 3Beijing United Family Hospital, Beijing, China
  1. Correspondence to Professor Phil Wiffen, Pain Research Unit, Churchill Hospital, Old Rd, Oxford OX3 7LE, UK; phil.wiffen{at}

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About this chapter

This chapter deals with the need to intentionally support staff in developing evidence-based skills. While formal teaching has a place, most activity will be mentor based. We present a suggested minimum skill set and discuss ways of maintaining developments.

Evidence-based Pharmacy was first published as a textbook by Phil Wiffen in 2001. The first chapter was published in Eur J Hosp Pharm 2013;20:308–12


In the previous nine chapters, we have presented a good deal of information about the how and the what of evidence-based pharmacy (EBP). What we may not have stated clearly is that all this is based on changing attitudes so that practitioners attitudinally and intentionally set out to use evidence in their practice. While this may seem obvious, in practice we rely far more on what we have been taught or what we think we know rather than basing our decisions on high-quality evidence. Often, negative experiences can strongly influence our opinion in ways that are not always helpful. I (PW) remember the case of a paraplegic patient early in my career who took a single dose of ibuprofen, which led to acute renal failure requiring dialysis over several weeks. While this is an important lesson it does not mean that we should never use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for such patients but we should proceed with caution.

In this chapter, we share some techniques for mentoring and teaching EBP both in the academic setting and the hospital pharmacy department setting. We also set out some suggested minimum skill sets for evidence-based practice. Much of this is tried and tested rather than evidence based though there are some good quality studies using designs such as cluster randomisation.1

  • 1. Why mentoring is important

  • Many concepts within EBP are difficult to teach in classroom or by just reading around the …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.