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Evidence Based Practice

Designed to familiarize health science students with concepts and strategies used in EBP. Includes levels of evidence, question formulation (PICO), and information sources for evidence.

About this Guide

The purpose of this guide is to familiarize health science students with concepts and strategies used in evidence-based practice. The guide is written primarily for undergraduate students in the health professional programs at Bloomsburg University.

As always, if you have any questions about this tutorial or library and information research, ask a librarian for assistance.

What is Evidence Based Practice?

Evidence Based Practice (EBP) integrates the following 3 factors into the decision-making process for patient care:

  1. Clinical Expertise (the clinician’s cumulated experience, education and clinical skills)
  2. Patient Values (the patient's own personal preferences and unique concerns, expectations, and values)
  3. Best Research Evidence (usually found in clinically relevant research that has been conducted using sound methodology)

Steps in the EBP Process

Evidence-Based Practice requires new skills of the clinician, including
efficient literature searching, and the application of formal rules of
evidence in evaluating the clinical literature.


1. ASK the question
Construct a well built clinical question derived from a clinical problem or question  that arises from the care of a patient

2. ACQUIRE the evidence
   Select the appropriate resource(s) and conduct a search

3. APPRAISE the evidence
   Appraise that evidence for its validity (closeness to the truth)
   and applicability (usefulness in clinical practice)

4. APPLY: talk with the patient
   Return to the patient -- integrate that evidence with
   clinical expertise, patient preferences and apply it to practice

5. ASSESS the process
   Evaluate your performance with this patient


This guide was based in part on the Introduction to Evidence-Based Practice Tutorial developed by librarians and staff at Duke University Medical Center Library and at the Health Sciences Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

The guide was also based in part on the Evidence-based Practice Tutorial developed by librarians at Penn State Libraries, Library Learning Services, and used with their permission.

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