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MEDEX: Evidence Based Practice

This guide is designed to provide starting points for research for the MEDEX program

What is Evidence Based Practice?

Evidence based medicine is the conscientious, explicit, and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients. The practice of evidence based medicine means integrating individual clinical expertise with the best available external clinical evidence from systematic research.

Learn moreEBP Tools Summary | EBP tutorial -- U. of Minnesota

Also see: Constructing well-built clinical questions using PICO

Evidence Guidelines and Summaries

Because it is difficult for a clinician to analyze all the information in a field, resources such as UpToDate and Clinical Evidence offer summaries of evidence-based information on a topic.

Research Articles

Research articles are published results of research studies and considered a Primary Source.

  • Research studies are the primary means of developing new clinical knowledge, but ...
  • Research articles vary in the level of detail given about the study. You may need to do your own evaluation.

For more information on articles please visit the Find Articles page.

Systematic Reviews & Meta-Analyses

Systematic Review is a literature review focused on a single question which tries to identify, appraise, select and synthesis all high quality research evidence relevant to that question.  Reviews are considered a Secondary Source in nursing.

  • Systematic reviews use explicit methods to identify, select, and critically evaluate relevant research.
  • Systematic reviews minimize the possibility of bias by using explicit criteria, and expand the relevance of individual studies with limited scope, but ...
  • Only a small number of clinical topics are covered by systematic reviews, because they require years of effort to develop.

Meta-analyses are systematic reviews that combine the results of several studies using quantitative statistics.

Clinical Practice Guidelines

Clinical Practice Guidelines are systematically developed statements of appropriate care designed to assist the practitioner and patient make decisions about appropriate health care for specific clinical circumstances.

  • Guidelines from reputable, authoritative organizations are usually based on the most current, relevant research, but ...
  • Guidelines are developed using widely varying standards. Cost may be considered as well as health outcomes.