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Physician Assistant Program Resources: EBP

Core E-Books (Background Info)

EBM Calculators


Original Research Articles  

PubMed (Medline)Embase, PsycInfo, Scopus, Web of Science, Google Scholar, & CINAHL

Pre-Appraised EBM Resources

What is Evidence-Based Practice (EBP)?

EBP Process Diagram

The most common definition of Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) is from Dr. David Sackett. EBP is “the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of the individual patient. It means integrating individual clinical expertise with the best available external clinical evidence from systematic research.” (Sackett D, 1996)

EBP is the integration of clinical expertise, patient values, and the best research evidence into the decision making process for patient care. Clinical expertise refers to the clinician’s cumulated experience, education and clinical skills. The patient brings to the encounter his or her own personal preferences and unique concerns, expectations, and values. The best research evidence is usually found in clinically relevant research that has been conducted using sound methodology. (Sackett D, 2002)

The evidence, by itself, does not make the decision, but it can help support the patient care process. The full integration of these three components into clinical decisions enhances the opportunity for optimal clinical outcomes and quality of life. The practice of EBP is usually triggered by patient encounters which generate questions about the effects of therapy, the utility of diagnostic tests, the prognosis of diseases, and/or the etiology of disorders.

Why does EBM matter?

"At the core of EBM is a care and respect for patients who will suffer if clinicians fall prey to muddled clinical reasoning and to neglect or misunderstanding of research findings. Practitioners of EBM strive for a clear and comprehensive understanding of the evidence underlying their clinical care and work with each patient to ensure that chosen courses of action are in that patient's best interest. Practicing EBM requires clinicians to understand how uncertainty about clinical research evidence intersects with an individual patient's predicament and preferences."

Guyatt G, Jaeschke R, Wilson MC, Montori VM, Richardson W. What Is Evidence-Based Medicine?. In: Guyatt G, Meade MO, Rennie D, Cook DJ. eds. JAMA evidence Using Evidence to Improve Care. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2014.

Subject Guide

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Brandi Tuttle

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The 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. ASSESS the patient...   Start with the patient and consider the clinical issue/question arising during care
  2. ASK the question...   Construct a well built clinical question derived from the issue/question 
  3. ACQUIRE the evidence...   Select the appropriate resource(s) & conduct a search 
  4. APPRAISE the evidence...   Appraise the evidence for its validity (closeness to the truth) & applicability (usefulness in clinical practice) 
  5. APPLY talk with the patient...   Integrate that evidence with your clinical expertise & patient preferences and apply it to practice 
  6. Evaluation...   Evaluate your performance with this patient