International Practice Development Journal


Title of ArticleIs it possible to bring the emancipatory practice development and evidence-based practice agendas together in nursing and midwifery?
Type of ArticleOriginal Practice Development and Research
Author/sGreg Fairbrother, Andrew Cashin, Tone Elin Mekki, Iain Graham and Brendan McCormack
ReferenceVolume 5, Issue 1, Article 4
Date of PublicationMay 2015
Keywordscritical realism, emancipatory practice development, evidence-based practice, midwifery, nursing, positivism

Background: The emancipatory practice development and evidence-based practice movements play significant roles in driving today’s nursing and midwifery practice and knowledge development agendas. Often, however, they are characterised as philosophically opposed to one another.

Aims and objectives: To provide an overview of the philosophical and epistemological background to these two movements and locate them in relation to today’s overall nursing knowledge and practice development environment.

Methods: Literature review, case study and model advance.

Findings: The paper argues that a mutualised evidence-based emancipatory practice development (EBEPD) is today both practical and achievable, and proposes a convergent model. The EBEPD model is discussed with particular reference to contemporary philosophical debate in nursing, some of which positions positivism (a primary underpin to evidence-based practice) and critical realism (a primary underpin to emancipatory practice development) as epistemologically irreconcilable.

Conclusion and implications for practice: Significant knowledge and practice development opportunities are likely to emerge from working to bring together these two fundamentally important and arguably symbiotic movements in healthcare.

A commentary on this paper by Debbie Roberts and Lynne Williams is available in Vol 7 Issue 1

This article by Greg Fairbrother, Andrew Cashin, Tone Elin Mekki, Iain Graham and Brendan McCormack is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 3.0 License.

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