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University of Washington Health Sciences Library

Evidence-Based Practice

What is evidence-based practice?

Evidence-Based Medicine [also referred to as Evidence-Based Practice] 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.

Source: Sackett DL, Rosenberg WMC, Gray JAM, Haynes RB, Richardson WS. Evidence based medicine: what it is and what it isn't. BMJ. 1996 Jan 13; 312 (7023): 71-2.

EBP process

The EBP process has 5 steps, as discussed in Albarqouni et al. (source below)

  1. Ask - Develop a relevant, answerable clinical question
  2. Acquire - Plan, search & find the best available evidence
  3. Appraise - Critically appraise articles for validity & applicability
  4. Apply - Integrate the evidence into practice
  5. Assess - Evaluate your clinical decision

Evidence-Based Practice consists of 5 procedural steps: asking the right question, acquiring data, appraising validity and applicability, applying a solution and assessing your clinical decision.


Source: Albarqouni L, Hoffmann T, Straus S, et al. Core Competencies in Evidence-Based Practice for Health Professionals: Consensus Statement Based on a Systematic Review and Delphi Survey. JAMA Netw Open. Published online June 22, 20181(2):e180281. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.0281


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