Centre for Evidence-Based Practice
We believe that providing high-quality assistance is paramount. Our Centre for Evidence-Based Practice (CEBaP) allows us 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 the research literature is supplemented by know-how from experts and information gleaned through practical experience. We also take into account the preferences of a given target group and the resources it has available. This enables us to base our responses to questions on sound data.
The video below shows how an evidence-based recommendation is put together.
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 maximise its efficiency and effectiveness. Our top priorities in this research are to develop and disseminate knowledge.
CEBaP develops evidence-based guidelines and updates these every five years. It also conducts systematic reviews to provide an overview of all studies relevant to answering a particular question. CEBaP can also carry out primary research into any identified gaps in scientific evidence.
The knowledge built up by CEBaP is disseminated nationally and internationally by publishing articles in journals, attending conferences and making presentations at meetings. Furthermore, CEBaP has developed an e-learning module and organises annual workshops on evidence-based practice, where colleagues from various Belgian Red Cross-Flanders departments learn how to critically evaluate information and get to grips with the basic principles of this approach. This e-learning course is made available to the general public here.
CEBaP's core values
Through CEBaP, we aim to support policymaking in Belgian Red Cross-Flanders, with a view to bridging 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 compile evidence-based guidelines and systematic reviews are based on the existing standards of the Cochrane Collaboration and the AGREE II instrument and are set out in CEBaP's methodological charter (.pdf).
CEBaP conducts evidence-based work and primary research into a wide range of humanitarian aid activities, although it tends to focus first and foremost on four priority areas:
- first-aid education and hygiene promotion;
- first aid assistance and disaster preparedness;
- blood platelets;
- blood donors.
All these areas are from the pre-hospital stage, where 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 to 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 is a child able to call an emergency number?
- What should you do if someone is suffering from severe hypothermia?
- What is the best way of preventing malaria?
- What are the most effective ways to tackle loneliness among the elderly?
- Does giving blood affect your sporting 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 disaster victim?