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Nursing: The IOWA Model

The IOWA model is designed to introduce evidence-based practice into nurse practitioners’ activities to combine their practical knowledge, scientific theories, and each patient’s desires. Most other evidence-based practices do not consider the subtleties of treatment of patients and their preferences, thus being a mechanical and formalized “cookie-cutter approach” (Dontje, 2007). According to many medical professionals, nursing is, in many ways, an art, not a science. It became necessary to create an additional method that would take into account these features.

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First and foremost, the IOWA model does not focus on one specific medical practice area but looks at the entire health care system. This approach allows the implementation of research to guide practical solutions tailored to patient needs (Dontje, 2007). Such actions can be achieved using a step-by-step method of identifying and addressing the problem. To perform evidence-based practice, nursing practitioners first need to identify the problem that triggers change and then prioritize and collect the necessary information. The implementation of a particular approach can be obtained after drawing up a general plan together with the organization and putting it into operation. According to the proposed framework, the first results and an assessment of the changes made can be obtained six months or a year after the highlighted topical issue is resolved (Dontje, 2007). The primary method for assessing the results and success of the changes made is direct feedback collected by the organization from all individuals involved in the medical process.

The data is then sent to nurse practitioners for further analysis of the current situation. This step is the most critical in the entire scheme. With the constant repetition of this process, it becomes possible to continually reform the current system to achieve the desired results (Dontje, 2007). The reliability of the results, in this case, depends on the regulatory authorities, i.e., the organization itself. However, this data is critically important as it allows us to improve the quality of the services provided continuously.

In the context of the problem under consideration, such evidence-based practice will enable one to critically assess the need to make changes or consider new data. Accordingly, using the IOWA model, it becomes possible to introduce the PHQ-9 and PHQ-2 questionnaires into medical practice and comprehensively analyze their impact on patients’ health and well-being.


Dontje, K. (2007). Evidence-based practice: Understanding the process. Topics in Advanced Practice Nursing eJournal, 7(4), 1-8.

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