Centre for Evidence-Based Practice
We believe that providing high-quality assistance is paramount. Through our Centre for Evidence-Based Practice (CEBaP), we are able to provide a scientific basis for everything we do. In this way, we can guarantee effective and efficient support delivery in all fields, from blood supply to emergency relief.
What is Evidence-Based Practice?
Many practical questions do not have a straightforward answer. Experts and manuals can sometimes offer conflicting advice. Research into the impact of interventions gave rise to the methodology known as ‘Evidence-Based Practice', a framework for supporting practical actions with the best available scientific evidence. The best available evidence from scientific literature is supplemented with know-how from experts and information gleaned through practical experience. We also take into account the preferences of, and the resources available to a given target group. This enables us to base our responses to questions on solid data.
The video below shows how an evidence-based recommendation is established.
Providing more efficient and more effective support
Thanks to the ongoing research conducted by CEBaP, we are able to continually improve the support we provide, and maximize its efficiency and effectiveness. In terms of research, our primary considerations are to develop and disseminate knowledge.
CEBaP develops evidence-based guidelines and keeps these up-to-date every 5 years. It also conducts systematic reviews to provide an overview of all studies relevant to answer a particular question. If a gap in scientific evidence is identified, CEBaP can also carry out primary research.
The knowledge built up by CEBaP is disseminated nationally and internationally through publications in journals, attendance at conferences and presentations at meetings. Furthermore, CEBaP developed an e-learning module and organizes yearly workshops on ‘Evidence-Based Practice’, where colleagues from different Belgian Red Cross-Flanders departments learn how to critically judge information, and get acquainted with the basic principles of Evidence-Based Practice. The e-learning course is available to the general public and can be accessed here.
CEBaP’s core values
Through CEBaP, we aim to support policymaking within the Belgian Red Cross-Flanders. We want to bridge the gap between science and its practical application to serve the best interests of the particular target group. We always provide objective and transparent information about our research. The methodological standards drawn up to develop evidence-based guidelines and systematic reviews are based on the existing standards of the Cochrane Collaboration and the AGREE II instrument, and are described in CEBaP’s methodological charter (.pdf).
CEBaP conducts evidence-based work and primary research into a broad range of humanitarian aid activities, although it tends to focus first and foremost on four priority areas:
- First aid education & hygiene promotion;
- First aid assistance & disaster preparedness;
These areas are all situated at the ‘pre-hospital’ stage, for which high-quality, independent research is extremely thin on the ground. CEBaP aims to be a leading expert in these four areas, based on its evidence-based work and primary research, and make this expertise available to the sector.
A few examples
These are just some of the questions CEBaP has dealt with recently:
- From what age on is a child able to call the emergency number?
- What should you do if someone is suffering from severe hypothermia?
- What is the best way to prevent malaria?
- What are the most effective ways to tackle loneliness among the elderly?
- Does a blood donation influence your sports performance?
- What are the most effective first aid techniques for Sub-Saharan Africa, India and Nepal?
- What type of psychosocial first aid can you offer to a victim of a disaster?