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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter November 2, 2018

Teaching Diagnostic Reasoning: A Review of Evidence-Based Interventions

  • Leah Burt ORCID logo EMAIL logo and Susan Corbridge


Problem/Background: The ability to accurately diagnose patients based on symptom profiles is a vital yet challenging skill that Nurse Practitioners (NPs) undertake frequently. Purpose: This integrative literature review highlights a variety of evidence based, practical educational strategies that foster the development of diagnostic reasoning. Methods: An integrative literature review was conducted in order to identify original research focusing on diagnostic reasoning educational interventions. Results: Eighteen primary sources met inclusion and exclusion criteria. Results are synthesized in terms of sample and setting, methodological features, interventions, and outcomes. Interventions broadly fit into five educational themes: testing strategies, cognitive biases, simulation programs, course formats, and instructional approaches. Discussion: Interventions are simple and can be implemented in multiple educational settings. Future research should occur in populations of NP students. Validated, easy-to-use measurement tools as well as more precise diagnostic reasoning concept development should occur.


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Received: 2018-01-25
Revised: 2018-08-24
Accepted: 2018-08-27
Published Online: 2018-11-02

© 2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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