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 and other disciplines such as librarianship and education. This guide concentrates on EBP as it applies to the health professions.
Straus, S. E., Glasziou, P., Richardson, W. S., & Haynes, R. B. (2011). Evidence-based medicine: How to practice and teach it (4th ed.). Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier.
Hoffmann, T., Bennett, S., & Mar, C. D. (2016). Evidence-based practice across the health professions (3rd ed.). Chatswood, Australia: Elsevier Australia.
The Evidence-Based Practice process is usually seen as having 5 steps:
|Step 1||ASK||Express the problem as a clinical question (Ask the question)|
|Step 2||ACQUIRE||Find evidence-based resources that answer the question (Acquire the evidence)|
|Step 3||APPRAISE||Critically appraise the evidence to assess its validity (Appraise the evidence)|
|Step 4||APPLY||Apply the evidence (Apply the evidence to the patient(s) or problem)|
|Step 5||ASSESS/AUDIT||Evaluate your performance in carrying out Steps 1 - 4 (Assess and audit the process)|
Hoffman, Bennett, and Del Mar, in their book Evidence-Based Practice across the health professions, point out that Evidence-Based Practice is not the same as randomised controlled trials ....
"... it is certainly true that randomised controlled trials are the cornerstone of research investigating whether interventions (‘treatments’) work. However, questions about the effectiveness of interventions are not the only type of question that health professionals need good research information about." (Hoffman, Bennett, & Del Mar, 2013).
Health professionals also need information about questions of:
It's possible that each question will require a different type of research design, and randomised controlled trials are just one type of research design. Others include:
Hoffman, Bennett, & Del Mar also point out that EBP is not the same as "guidelines". Rather, practice guidelines are "one way that evidence-based practice can help to get the best available evidence into clinical practice" (Hoffman, Bennett, & Del Mar, 2013).
Hoffmann, T., Bennett, S., & Del Mar, C. Evidence-based practice across the health professions (2nd ed.). Retrieved from ProQuest Ebook Central.