EBP and the Library: Characteristics of EBP research

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Pyramid of Evidence

The EBP pyramid is frequently used to depict the strength of evidence provided by various studies.  Meta-analyses, systematic reviews, and clinical guidelines are generally considered the strongest evidence because they examine and synthesize the findings of multiple related studies.

Pyramid shape listing study types from weakest evidence at the bottom to strongest evidence at the top.

Primary and Secondary Literature for EBP

Primary literature refers to new or original research.  It is usually written by the researchers who conducted the experiment or research project to describe their findings.

Secondary literature analyzes, condenses, or interprets the primary literature.

Primary Literature Secondary Literature
Animal and laboratory research Clinical guidelines
Narrative reports Systematic reviews
Case series and case reports Meta-analyses
Case-controlled studies  
Cohort studies  
Randomized controlled trials