Being part of a regular journal club can help you and others to keep up to date and to take on some of the key skills needed to use evidence to improve practice.
A journal club is a way in which people interested in a common topic can come together to discuss and evaluate research articles published in peer reviewed journals.
Why you might want to get involved with journal clubs:
- You are finding it hard to keep up with the volume of new research in your field
- Your organisation is being asked to implement evidence-based care
- You are responsible for developing or implementing evidence based policy for your organisation
- You have an interest in evidence-based care but aren’t sure where or how to begin
Often journal clubs will include discussion of if and how the evidence may impact practice. It is one way of keeping up with an increasing volume of palliative care evidence , highlighting new findings, and developing skills in appraising articles. Having these skills can help you to evaluate new findings and what they might mean in terms of the care you and your organisation provide. Including whether it means you need to change practice.
Along with increasing awareness and understanding journal clubs also offer opportunities to network with others. There is evidence for the positive impact of journal clubs on Evidence Based Practice (EBP) knowledge and skills. [1,2]
Holding a Journal Club
The journal club will be shaped by your audience and the articles chosen. The questions asked might examine any recommendations being made and the strength of evidence behind these. They could also include asking people to reflect on their own experience to stimulate discussion on a point of practice.
A good guide to steps in setting up a journal club is summarised in Box 1. As you go through each step there are a few points to remember.