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Pharmacy Research Skills Guide: What is Evidence Based Practice (EBP)?

What is Evidence-Based Practice?

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).

  • 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 - for example, the resources available.

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 Steps in EBP

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

More Resources

Evidence Based Practice guide created by CSU Library

Tutorials

From a tutorial compiled by the Duke University Medical Center Library and the Health Sciences Library at the University of Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Charles Sturt University acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands on which its campuses are located, paying respect to Elders, both past and present, and extend that respect to all First Nations Peoples.

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