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Evidence-Based Practice (EBP)

In addition to the basics of EBP and PICO, this guide answers questions about primary vs. secondary sources, where to look for evidence, and how to search to get the best results.

Steps in the Process

(Modified from Duke University Medical Center)
1. ASSESS the patient Start with the patient; determine a clinical problem or question that arises from the care of the patient. The six steps of the EBP process
2. ASK a focused clinical question Construct a well-built clinical question derived from the case.
3. ACQUIRE evidence to answer the question Select the appropriate resource(s) and conduct a search.
4. APPRAISE the quality of the evidence Appraise that evidence for its validity (closeness to the truth) and applicability (usefulness in clinical practice).
5. APPLY the evidence to patient care Return to the patient; integrate the evidence with clinical expertise and patient preferences; apply it to practice.
6. EVALUATE Evaluate the patient's outcome and your own performance.

The following guides offer more information about the steps in the EBP process:

EBP Step-by-Step Series

American Journal of Nursing logoThe following articles are included in the American Journal of Nursing's 12-part Evidence-Based Practice, Step by Step series: