When searching for information in the field of dentistry to answer clinical or research questions, you may be required to locate evidence-based practice resources. The information below and on the following page provide an introduction to the Evidence Based Practice concept.
Evidence Based Practice was first defined by Dr David Sackett in the 1990s, but a more recent definition has it as
“integrating the best available research evidence with clinical expertise and the patient’s unique values and circumstances” (Straus, Glasziou, Richardson, & Haynes, 2011).
And "it also requires the health professional to take into account characteristics of the practice context in which they work" (Hoffman, Bennett, & Mar, 2016, p. 4).
Evidence-Based Practice has been expanded from Evidence-Based Medicine to apply to other health professions including Dentistry.
As noted above, the first step in the evidence-based practice process is to formulate a clinical question.
The clinical question should be relevant to the patient or the problem and formulated in such a way as to help with the search for an answer.
PICO makes this process easier ...
The PICO concept is commonly used to formulate the clinical question. Each of the 4 letters identifies a key concept that needs to be in research articles that will answer the question:
|P||Patient / Population / Problem||Start with the patient, or group of patients, or problem|
|I||Intervention||What is the proposed intervention?|
What is the main alternative, to compare with the intervention?
|Outcome||What is the anticipated or hoped-for outcome?|
PICO is commonly used when one intervention is being compared with another, or with no intervention at all.
For more information on PICO & formulating a clinical question please see: Evidence-Based Practice: PICO and SPIDER
There are various ways of listing the steps in the Evidence-Based Practice process, but a common way has 5 main steps:
|1||Expressing the problem as a clinical question (Ask the question)|
|2||Finding evidence-based resources that answer the question (Acquire the evidence)|
|3||Critically appraising the evidence to assess its validity (Appraise the evidence)|
|4||Applying the evidence (Apply the evidence)|
|5||Re-evaluating the evidence and its application (Re-evaluate the evidence)|
Evidence Based Practice Library resource guide created by the Charles Sturt University Library:
From a tutorial compiled by the Duke University Medical Center Library and the Health Sciences Library at the University of Carolina at Chapel Hill.