Evidence Based Practice - Health Care: About Evidence Based Practice

A guide to evidence based practice resources.

Evidence Based Practice

Evidence Based Practice involves "applying the best available research results (evidence) when making decisions about health care. Health care professionals who perform evidence-based practice use research evidence along with clinical expertise and patient preferences."

AHRQ Effective Health Care Program Glossary of Terms. Retrieved August 6, 2012 from http://effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov/index.cfm/glossary-of-terms/?filterletter=e

Why Evidence Based Practice

There is a substantial gap between the best research evidence and clinical practice with potentally serious health consequences for patients. Key reasons for the research-practice gap include lack of time and skills needed for finding and appraising the evidence. Evidence based practice helps bridge that gap by providing strategies that facilitate finding and appraising research, and resources that pre-filter and synthesize research to make the process more efficient.

Steps of Evidence Based Practice

Evidence based practice includes five steps:

  1. Converting the need for information into an answerable question
  2. Finding the best evidence with which to answer that question
  3. Critically appraising the evidence for its validity, impact, and applicability
  4. Integrating the evidence with clinical expertise and the patient's unique biology, values and circumstances
  5. Evaluating the effectiveness and efficiency of the process

This guide focuses on the first three steps of evidence-based practice.

              Strauss, S. E. (2011). Evidence-based medicine : How to practice and teach EBM (4th ed.). Edinburgh ; New York: Churchill Livingstone.