This guide is designed to help you find evidence-based practice resources.
Evidence Based Practice is the integration of clinical expertise, patient values and the best evidence into the decision making process for patient care. (Sackett, D.L., et al. 2005, Evidence-based medicine: how to practice and teach EBM, 3rd edn, Churchill Livingstone, Edinburgh).
There are many different types of evidence-based practice, and some are regarded as more authoritative than others. The image below shows you the hierarchy of evidence often referred to in health research. It ranks different types of evidence based practice resources and how they range in quality. As we move up the triangle, the literature increases in relevance in the clinical setting.
An article in which the authors have systematically searched for, appraised and summarised all of the medical literature for their chosen specific topic
A short summary of the evidence on a topic literature, created to answer a specific clinical question.
Critically-Appraised Individual Articles
A critical appraisal of a specific individual source to determine its validity
Randomised Controlled Trials
A group of patients is randomised into an experimental group and a controlled group. These groups are followed up for variables/outcomes of interest.
Involves identification of two cohorts of patients, one which did receive the exposure of interest and one which did not. Study will follow these cohorts forward for the outcome of interest.
Case-Controlled Studies / Case Series/
Involves identifying patients who have the outcome of interest (cases) and control patients without the same outcome, and looking to see if they had the exposure of interest.
Background Information / Expert Opinion
A quantitative summary of results which may be included in a systematic review
If you are unsure about where to begin with evidence based practice, you can try searching our catalogue for books, otherwise click through the tabs on the top of this guide for more help on finding resources.