Making decision-making visible—teaching the process of evaluating interventions

Angela Benfield, Robert B. Krueger

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Significant efforts in the past decades to teach evidence-based practice (EBP) implementation has emphasized increasing knowledge of EBP and developing interventions to support adoption to practice. These efforts have resulted in only limited sustained improvements in the daily use of evidence-based interventions in clinical practice in most health professions. Many new interventions with limited evidence of effectiveness are readily adopted each year—indicating openness to change is not the problem. The selection of an intervention is the outcome of an elaborate and complex cognitive process, which is shaped by how they represent the problem in their mind and is mostly invisible processes to others. Therefore, the complex thinking process that support appropriate adoption of interventions should be taught more explicitly. Making the process visible to clinicians increases the acquisition of the skills required to judiciously select one intervention over others. The purpose of this paper is to provide a review of the selection process and the critical analysis that is required to appropriately decide to trial or not trial new intervention strategies with patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3635
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Causal model
  • Clinical reasoning
  • Concept mapping
  • Evidence-based practice
  • Intervention theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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