This series of modules introduces evidence-based practice.
What is evidence-based practice (EBP)? Well, first let's break down the term using a couple of definitions from the Oxford Dictionary of English:
Combining these definitions and thinking about practice based on evidence, we begin to move towards a clearer understanding:
However, this definition is incomplete. There is more to evidence-based practice than just evidence.
EBP is more than just thinking about evidence. There are actually four elements to evidence-based practice, and all four need to be considered in forming a decision:
The book "Evidence-Based Practice Across the Health Professions" is a comprehensive yet easy to understand introduction to EBP. The following image and definition are adapted from its first chapter, and help to clarify the four elements of EBP:
"Evidence-based practice involves using clinical reasoning to integrate information from four sources: research evidence; clinical expertise; the patient's values, preferences and circumstances; and the practice context."
Introduction to evidence-based practice, Hoffmann, Tammy, Evidence-Based Practice Across Health Professions, Chapter 1, 1-15
EBP is about action. It's a method intended to guide clinical decision making. As such, there's a process to follow!
Another name for the process of evidence-based practice is "the Five A's". This diagram, again based on information from "Evidence-Based Practice Across the Health Professions", illustrates the Five A's process.
Click on each of the five steps in the process to learn more about each: