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Evidence-Based Practice for Health Professionals: What is EBP?

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Additional Resources

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The 5 Steps of EBP

Evidence-based practice consists of five steps:

1. Ask a searchable clinical question;
2. Find the best evidence to answer the question;
3. Appraise the evidence;
4. Apply the evidence with clinical expertise, taking the patient's wants/needs into consideration;

5. Evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of the process.

Use the tabs of this LibGuide to learn:

  • how to ask a searchable clinical question;
  • what to look for;
  • where to search for the best evidence;
  • how to appraise the evidence you find.

Evidence-Based Practice, Step by Step

EBP, Step by Step:  Article series from The American Journal of Nursing

Written from 2009 - 2011, AJN’s Series is developed to give nurses the knowledge and skills they need to implement EBP consistently, one step at a time. The case scenario used throughout is Rapid Response Teams.

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What is EBP


Evidence-based medicine (EBM) or evidence based practice (EBP),  is the judicious use of the best current evidence in making decisions about the care of the individual patient. EBP also integrates clinical expertise and takes patient desires, values, and needs into consideration.

Dr. David Sackett and his colleagues at McMasters University in Ontario, Canada, initially proposed EBM (Sackett, Straus, Richardson, et. al., 2005).

EBP differs slightly from EBM in that it is an umbrella term of sorts; it encompasses evidence-based medicine, evidence-based nursing, evidence-based physical therapy, evidence-based dentistry, etc.

EBP Resources

Evidence Based Practice for Nursing Students
Consise explanation of the steps and process of ebp for nursing. Sponsored by McMaster University's Health Science Library with links to resouces.

University of Toronto Centre for Evidence-based Medicine
The website that accompanies the evidence-based practice text by Sackett et al. (2000) entitled "Evidence-Based Medicine: How to practice and teach EBM". It contains links for a glossary of EBP terms, worksheets for critically appraising individual articles on diagnosis, therapy, prognosis, etc. among other resources, including handy online calculators for plugging in numbers to determine sensitivity, specificity, number needed to treat, odds ratios, etc.



1. Strauss, S. E.  Evidence-Based Medicine: How to Practice and Teach EBM. New York: Churchill Livingstone, 2005.