Evidence Based Practice (EBP) is a process of “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 consider characteristics of the practice context in which they work." (Hoffman, Bennett, & Del Mar, 2017).
- The best research evidence is usually from relevant research that has been carried out using sound methodology.
- Clinical expertise is a combination of the clinician’s experience, education, and clinical skills.
- The patient has his/her own personal preferences, concerns, expectations, and values.
- The practice context includes characteristics of the situation in which the interaction between patient and health professional is taking place.
Evidence-Based Practice has been expanded from Evidence-Based Medicine to apply to other health professions and other disciplines. This guide concentrates on (but is not exclusive to) EBP as it applies to the health professions.
Evidence-Based Practice vs Evidence-Informed Practice
A term that is sometimes used, especially in nursing research, is Evidence-Informed Practice. According to Woodbury and Kuhnke (2014), this term is used instead of, or as well as, Evidence-Based Practice. They suggest that the term gives more flexibility regarding the nature of evidence and its use, that is, the term "implies that many different levels of evidence and types of evidence … are needed and used to support decisions in clinical practice.” (p. 29)
Hoffmann, T., Bennett, S., & Del Mar, C. (2016). Evidence-based practice across the health professions (3rd ed.). Elsevier Australia.
Straus, S. E., Glasziou, P., Richardson, W. S., & Haynes, R. B. (2011). Evidence-based medicine: How to practice and teach it (4th ed.). Churchill Livingstone Elsevier.
Woodbury, M. G., & Kuhnke, J. L. (2014). Evidence-based Practice vs. Evidence-informed Practice: What's the difference? Wound Care Canada, 12(1), 26-29.