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Evidence-Based Practice: Understanding Evidence

What is Evidence-Based Practice (EBP)?

Evidence-based practice (EBP) is "...the integration of best research evidence with clinical expertise and patient values". Sackett, David L. BMJ 1996;312:71-72


Image taken from : Curtin Universi‚Äčty Evidence Based Health Sciences page


The EBP Cycle

Finding the best evidence requires a systematic cycle of process


Taken from:
Duke University Medical Center Library, & Health Sciences Library. UNC-Chapel Hill.  Retrieved from:

The five 'A's of the evidence: 

Ask:  Clinical question development - construct a well-built clinical question derived from the patient dilemma

Acquire: Searching for the evidence - select the appropriate resources and conduct a search in order to acquire the evidence

Appraise:  Critical appraisal of the evidence - the validity and applicability of the evidence

Apply:  Applying evidence to patient within context - Integrate evidence with clinical expertise and patient preferences and apply to practice

Act :  Evaluate the performance and success of the change in practice.  Ask new questions

Why EBP?

·     Health and medicine is dynamic and changing

·     Accessing quality health information at any one time is an enormous task

·     Evidence-based practice means using the best, research-proven assessments & treatments in day-to-day client care & service delivery

·     Health professionals have a responsibility to stay in touch with the research literature & to implement best practice as a part of clinical decision-making     

·     Implementing EBP means a real commitment to lifelong learning

Viva La Evidence

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