2. The Nature of Knowledge in Health and Social Care

Reflective Exercise 1

Think about examples from your experience, of knowledge that might be viewed as traditional, common sense, intuitive, trial and error.

  • Consider the possible strengths of using this knowledge.
  • What do you feel may be the weaknesses of the knowledge used?

Hopefully you will have some examples from your practice. For example, the use of traditional knowledge such as being directed to provide care or undertake practice in a way that the clinical area or a particular clinician prefers.

The strengths of this knowledge may be that it is known to work in practice. The weaknesses are that there is no evidence base for use and therefore confidence in this way of practising is lessened.

Reflective Exercise 2

Think about care delivery you have seen in practice that you think has been based on scientific research findings. For example, have you been involved in the administration of drugs that have been developed through trials?

Do you have other examples of practice that is underpinned by scientific research? What do you feel are the possible strengths of this care delivery?

You should be able to identify areas of evidence-based practice underpinned by research findings. Strengths are linked to the care being delivered according to best evidence and where the care has been tested to show that it has a benefit.


You may want to look at the following for further information:

NHS Choices clinical trials and medical research: www.nhs.uk/conditions/Clinical-trials/Pages/Introduction.aspx