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Evidence-Based Practice (SCGH): Introduction to EBP

Welcome

This guide provides a basic introduction to Evidence-Based Practice (EBP), with plenty of tools, tips and resources.  In these pages you will find links to dedicated EBM sites and practice tutorials. If you can't find what you need, please speak to a Librarian

What is Evidence-Based Practice?

A popular definition of evidence-based practice (EBP) is from David Sackett. 

"the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of the 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.L. (1996)
                                          3 parts of EBM

From: UNC Health Sciences Library. UNC-Chapel Hill. Retrieved from: http://guides.mclibrary.duke.edu/ebm

Introduction

Questions arise every day in the course of caring for patients. You may be faced with everyday clinical queries, emerging areas of practice, technological innovation, change management or economic and industrial challenges that demand new and creative approaches.

For example:

  1. Your patient with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) has resistant hypertension. He has had some reduction in systolic blood pressure using a combination of valsartan and positive airway pressure therapy but studies on use of antihypertensive medications in OSA have produced conflicting results. You decide to review the most recent evidence.
  2. You want to develop a business case to pilot wearable technology for use by stroke patients undergoing rehabilitation.
  3. You want to develop a research-based protocol aimed at improving the wound care management of home-bound patients with chronic non-healing leg wounds.
  4. Your patient with Parkinson's Disease has seen recent media publicity on the benefits of stationary bike riding for relieving symptoms such as tremor. They ask if this would help them.

Each of these scenarios presents "opportunities to make explicit and systematic use of the best available evidence"

The well-built clinical question: a key to evidence-based decisions. Richardson, WS. et al. ACP Journal Club, v 123:A12, Nov-Dec, 1995


Where to begin? On the next pages we look at strategies for analysing different scenarios using evidence-based practice.

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