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Evidence-Based Practice

Evidence-based practice (EBP) is the process of systematically finding, appraising, and using contemporaneous research findings as the basis for clinical decisions.


Evidence-Based Practice has been defined as "...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." (David Sackett, 1996)

Evidence-based practice follows four steps:

  • formulate a clear clinical question from a patient's problem
  • search the literature for relevant clinical articles
  • evaluate the evidence for its validity and usefulness
  • implement useful findings in clinical practice

(Rosenberg, William and Anna Donald. Evidence based medicine: an approach to clinical problem-solving. BMJ 1995;310:1122-1126).

If you need help deciphering terminology, use this glossary from the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine in Toronto.