What is Evidence-Based Practice
Evidence-Based Practice is an approach to health care where health professionals use the best evidence possible to make clinical decisions about individual patients. It integrates clinical expertise, the best research evidence, and patient values into the decision making process that for patient care. Clinical expertise refers to the clinician, or nurse's, education, expertise and clinical skills. The best research evidence is found in clinically relevant research that has been conducted using sound methodology. Patient values refers to the patient's experience, concerns, expectations, and beliefs. (Sacket D, 1996, 2002) Evidence is part of the decision making process, but it is not the sole basis for decisions made regarding treatment and care of the patient.
Steps in the EBP Process
Evidence-Based Practice requires new skills, such as literature searching and the evaluation of clinical literature. The steps in the EBP process are as follows:
- Assess the patient.
- Ask the question: Take what you know about the patient and construct a solid clinical question derived from the case.
- Gather the evidence: Select the appropriate resources (databases, journals, textbooks) and search the literature.
- Evaluate the evidence: Appraise the evidence you've collected. Ask yourself if the evidence is valid. Ask yourself if the evidence is applicable.
- Apply knowledge: Integrate the relevant evidence you have collected with your expertise and the patient's values to care for the patient.
Tutorials and Modules
Evidence-Based Practice News
Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing
EBM: Further Reading
How to Read a Paper: Papers that Go Beyond Numbers
An Introduction to Reading and Appraising Qualitative Resarch
BMJ 2008;337: a288
Papers that Summarize Other Papers
BMJ 1997;315: 672
Papers that Report on Diagnostic or Screening Tests
Papers that Report Drug Trials
Assessing the Methodological Quality of Published Papers