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Evidence-Based Practice: APPLY

EBP Step 4: Apply the Evidence

At the start of this guide, we looked at the 5 steps in the EBP process: Ask the Question; Acquire the evidence; Appraise the evidence; Apply the evidence; Assess/Audit the process.

We also looked at how the definition of EBP involves not only searching for the best evidence but also integrating this with clinical expertise, the values and preferences of the patient, and the practice context.

So Step 4 - Apply the evidence - involves working out how the results of your research apply to the patient, taking into consideration your own clinical expertise and the patient's situation.

Glasziou, Salisbury, & Del Mar (2009, p. 133) suggest that this is sometimes called the "external validity", or "generalisability" of the research results, and that it might be carried out before, or concurrently with, Step 3 (Appraising the evidence).

Questions to ask at this stage include:

  • Is the intervention feasible in my setting?
  • What else do I need to apply this evidence?
  • Is my patient similar enough to the subjects of the study so that the results can apply?
  • Will the potential benefits of treatment outweigh any potential harm?
  • What are the views of my patient?

Source: Glasziou, P., Del Mar, C., & Salisbury, J. (2009). Evidence-based practice workbook: Bridging the gap between health care research and practice (2nd ed.).

More Resources

EBook Chapter

  • Apply the evidence
    Part 2: EBP Step 4 in the eBook by Glasziou, Salisbury, & Del Mar quoted above.

Video tutorial

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