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