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College of Health Professions Evidence Based Practice Portal - 2022 draft revision

College of Health Professions Evidence Base Practice Portal

Five As

Evidence-based practice (EBP) is a way of approaching decision making about clinical issues. It is more than just the EBP research process outlined in the five A's presented on this guide. It is a means of making decisions

  • with the best and most current knowledge possible from science and from practice (for example, quality improvement or core measures data)
  • as that knowledge is interpreted by a clinician (with that person's expertise, experience, life knowledge and intuition completely integrated into the interpretation)
  • and with the collaboration with the patient, where the doctor or nurse values what s/he wants as the outcome for this decision.

As presented in Straus, Glasziou, Richardson, and Haynes (2019, p. 1), EBP "requires the integration of the best research evidence with our clinical expertise and our patient's unique values and circumstances" (they go on to define research evidence, clinical expertise, and patient values and circumstances).  The essential point is that evidence based practice is the confluence of these three elements as a means of promoting the most optimal outcome for the patient's health.  Patient preferences, as they are called, sometimes change when clinicians explain the science as interpreted through their expertise - we call these informed patient preferences. This enables the best outcome to be achieved for that patient.

Over the past 30+ years, EBP, has become the predominant lens through which healthcare decisions are made in order to ensure the most optimal patient outcomes. Though it was first articulated by British Physician Archie Cochrane in 1972, it is a school of thought that has its origins in McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.  Gordon Guyatt, a professor at McMaster, first presented the term "evidence-based medicine" in 1991, applying it to the instruction taught in a medical school program.  In the ensuing years, the concept has expanded beyond its application to M.D. programs into other areas of the health sciences, thus producing the shift from the term "evidence-based medicine" to the term "evidence-based practice." (contemporary presentations of the term may or may not include the hyphen between "evidence" and "based").  It has also been adapted to other fields, resulting in field-specific conceptualizations such as "evidence-based psychology," or "evidence-based librarianship."

The EBP Research Portal's goals are to:

  • train professional students to quickly access evidence during their clinical work.
  • introduce College of Health Professions students to concepts related to information literacy and lifelong learning, including the skills needed for finding information efficiently, selecting relevant information sources, evaluating information for authority and credibility, and using information for a specific purpose.
  • provide CHP students with online, self-paced instructional resources for improving research skills.

This Portal was created as a collaborative effort between the Wichita State University College of Health Professions and the University Libraries.

Works cited:

-- Cochrane, A. L. (1972). Effectiveness and efficiency: Random reflections on health services. London: Nuffield Provincial Hospitals Trust.
-- Guyatt, G. H. (1991). Evidence-based medicine. ACP Journal Club, 114(2), A16. doi:10.7326/ACPJC-1991-114-2-A16
-- Straus, S. E., Glasziou, P., Richardson, W. S., & Haynes, R. B. (2019). Evidence-based medicine: How to practice and teach EBM (5th ed.). Elsevier Health Sciences. 

Site map

This page is divided into the overview page of the CHP Evidence Based Practice Portal you are currently viewing, pages dedicated to each of the five As of EBP, and a Writing, citing, and avoiding plagiarism page at the end of the guide.  The full site map of this material is as follows:

There are a pair of resources linked from this page that merit explicit mention -- the faculty toolbox and the interprofessional education website.  Both are linked in the box in the left-side column above.

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