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Evidence Based Practice: What is EBP?

Why Practice EBP?

  • Medical research is continually discovering improved treatment methods and therapies
  • Research findings are often delayed in being implemented into clinical practice
  • Clinicians must stay current with changing therapies
  • EBP has been shown to keep clinicians up to date

K. Jeffrey, L. Maggio, & M. Blanchard. Introduction to EBM. Alumni Medical Library Website

EBP Tutorials

An Introduction to Evidence Based Practice: self-paced tutorial developed by the Medical Center Library at Duke University and the Health Science Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

EBM Tutorials:  interactive tutorials developed by the Lamar Soutter Library at UMass Medical School

What is Evidence Based Practice (EBP)?


EBP is the conscientious and judicious use of:

  • The best research evidence (found in health sciences literature)
  • Clinical expertise (what the health-care provider knows)
  • Patient values and expectations (what the patient believes and wants)

Evidence Based Practice is an umbrella term that includes medicine (“Evidence Based Medicine,” or EBM), nursing, dentistry, public-health, psychology, etc.

Evidence Based Practice's Steps

EBP is primarily based on the following steps:

1) Assess

  • Identify the clinical problem.  What is it you want to know?

2) Ask

  • Convert the clinical problem into an answerable question using PICO

3) Acquire

  • Gather the best evidence to answer the question

4) Appraise

  •  Critically evaluate the evidence for validity, impact, and applicability 

5) Apply

  • Integrate your critical appraisal with your clinical expertise and the patient's unique biology, values, and circumstances

6) Evaluate 

  • Evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of your performance, and seek ways to improve for next time


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Beatriz Varman