The following tutorial is based upon a series of articles from the Arizona State University College of Nursing and Health Innovation's Center for the Advancement of Evidence-Based Practice.
What is Evidence-Based Practice?
Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) is a problem-solving approach to the delivery of healthcare that uses the best evidence from well-designed studies and patient care data together with the expertise of clinicians as well as patient preferences and values (Melnyk, B et al. 49). The term 'evidence-based medicine' is also used.
STEP ZERO: Igniting a Spirit of Inquiry
In their article, "Igniting a Spirit of Inquiry: An Essential Foundation for Evidence-Based Practice" nursing scholars Bernadette Mazurek Melnyk, Ellen Fineout-Overholt, Susan Stillwell, and Kathleen Williamson, describe how a spirit of inquiry, defined as "an ongoing curiosity about the best evidence to guide clinical decision making" along with an organizational culture that supports it, are necessary components to lay the groundwork for Evidence-Based Medicine (49). This continual cultivation of a spirit of inquiry is the first step, or "Step Zero" according to Melnyk and her colleagues. They pose the question, "Do you ever wonder why nurses engage in practices that aren't supported by evidence, while not implementing practices substantiated by a lot of evidence?" (Melnyk et al. 49).
"Everyday, health care professionals across the care continuum perform a multitude of interventions that should stimulate questions about the evidence supporting their use... When a health care professional possesses a spirit of inquiry, within a supportive EBP culture, she or he can routinely ask questions about clinical practice while care is being delivered" (Melnyk et al. 49).
In the next unit, we discuss how to ask clinical questions in a PICOT format.
Evidenced Based Medicine Information Literacy Modules|
Unit 5: Integrate the Evidence with Clinical Expertise & Patient
Preferences and Values
Unit 6: Evaluate the Outcomes of the Practice Decisions or
Changes based on the Evidence
Unit 7: Disseminate EBP Results
copyright 2013 Napa Valley College Updated April 17, 2013
by Nancy McEnery, Reference Librarian-Instructor