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Interdisciplinary Studies in Health Science (IDS): Evidence-Based Practice

A guide of library and information resources for the Interprofessional Studies (IDS) major.

5 Steps of Evidence-Based Practice

EBP Wordle

Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) is defined as the conscientious, explicit, and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions (Sackett, Rosenberg, Gray, Haynes, & Richardson, 1996).  

With its origins in medicine, evidence-based practice has been applied to other health fields, and also to social science (e.g., criminal justice, social work) and education fields.  Evidence-based practice is constantly being modified to best suit the subject to where it is applied.

Various disciplines have defined evidence-based practice steps based on their needs.  They have their specific steps, but the general steps consist of the following (Booth & Brice, 2004):

1.  Defining the Problem:  convert a precise information need from practice into an answerable, focused, structured question.

2.  Finding Evidence:  search the information resources (professional literature, databases, etc.) relevant to the topic in question

3.  Critical Appraisal/ Appraising Evidence:  examine a resource's validity, reliability, and applicability to the question or problem.

4.  Integrating or Applying Results of Appraisal:  integrate new information with one's own knowledge base and patient/scenario preferences, and apply to practice.

5.  Re-evaluating the Process:  review the process, outcome, and possible ways to improve practice.

Sources:  Booth, A., & Brice, A. (Eds.). (2004).  Evidence-based practice for information professionals: A handbook.  London: Facet Publishing.

Sackett, D.L.., Rosenberg, W. M., Gray, J. A., Haynes, R. B., & Richardson, W.S. (1996).  Evidence based medicine: what it is and what it isn't.  BMJ, 312(7023): 71-72.

Evidence-Based Practice

Evidence-Based Practice Tutorials

Evidence-Based Resource Guide

Additional information and resources about Evidence-Based Practice can be found at

PICO Tutorials

A fundamental skill required for EBP is to create a well-built clinical question.

Patient/Population/Problem

Intervention: Drug, Diagnostic Test, Etc.

Comparative Intervention:  Gold Standard, Control, or Other Comparison

Outcome:  Desired Result

Some health practices utilize an additional element to the clinical question, or Time:

Time:  What is the time frame?

See the following links for demos on building a PICO(T) question.  Although some have an emphasis in medicine, the fundamental concepts apply to other disciplines.

Concepts Related to EBP

Use the links below to explore topics related to Evidence-Based Practice across the disciplines.

Books on EBP