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Evidence-Based Practice


Occupational practices based on scientific evidence.

What is evidence-based practice?

Circular flowchart showing the five steps of the evidence-based practice process.
The 5As of EBP Creative Commons License

Evidence-based practice is a 5-step process:

  1. Ask a question
  2. Access the evidence
  3. Appraise the evidence
  4. Apply the evidence
  5. Audit or evaluate its effectiveness.

Evidence-based practice (EBP) is a way of making decisions and solving problems that focuses on using the best available information, combining it with the expertise of professionals, and taking into account the specific needs and preferences of the people affected by those decisions.

  1. Evidence: EBP relies on good-quality information. This information can come from research, expert opinions, or real-life experiences. The goal is to gather the best and most reliable information to guide decisions.

  2. Professional Expertise: EBP also values the knowledge and experience of professionals in a given field. They use their skills to understand and apply the information effectively.

  3. Patient Preferences: EBP takes into consideration what the individuals who are directly involved in the decision want and need. This means involving them in the decision-making process and understanding their thoughts and desires.

In practical terms, EBP involves asking a clear question, searching for relevant information, evaluating the quality of that information, combining it with professional expertise, considering the preferences of those affected, and then making informed decisions. This process is continually improved by learning from the outcomes of those decisions. The aim is to make better, more effective choices that benefit everyone involved.

Systematic Reviews

Systematic Reviews contain all the elements of evidence-based practice, plus rigorous recording and reporting of research conducted.

For more in-depth and information on these elements, refer to our guide:

The first step in both evidence-based practice and systematic reviews is to ask a clinical question.

Study and research support

Beginner study and research support:

Intermediate and advanced research support:

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