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Evidence-Based Practice: Nursing

What is Evidence-Based Practice?

What is Evidence-based practice?

The most common definition of Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) is from Dr. David Sackett. EBP is “the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of the individual patient. It means integrating individual clinical expertise with the best available external clinical evidence from systematic research.” (Sackett D, 1996)

best resarch evidence with clinical expertise with patient values and references equal evidence-based practice

The evidence, by itself, does not make the decision, but it can help support the patient care process. The full integration of these three components into clinical decisions enhances the opportunity for optimal clinical outcomes and quality of life. The practice of EBP is usually triggered by patient encounters which generate questions about the effects of therapy, the utility of diagnostic tests, the prognosis of diseases, and/or the etiology of disorders.

The 5 Steps of the EBP Process: (commonly known as the 5 A's)

  1. Assess - Starting with a patient or problem, a clinical problem or question arises from the care of the patient
  2. Ask  - Construct a well-built clinical question based on the case
  3. Acquire - Conduct a thorough search using the appropriate resources 
  4. Appraise - evaluate the information for its validity, reliability and applicability 
  5. Apply - integrate the evidence with clinical expertise, patient preference and apply it to practice  

Image of the 5 A's: Ask, Acquire, Appraise, Apply, Assess