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Analyse how evidence-based practice can be used to inform your practice

This page is designed to answer the following questions:

NOTE: Although this page has been marked as complete, it has not yet been peer-reviewed or quality-assured, therefore it should be considered a ‘first draft‘ and any information should be fact-checked independently.

Evidence-based practice is defined as:

‘Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) requires that decisions about health care are based on the best available, current, valid and relevant evidence. These decisions should be made by those receiving care, informed by the tacit and explicit knowledge of those providing care, within the context of available resources’

Sicily statement on evidence-based practice (Dawes et al, 2005) 

Evidence must be authoritative sources and could include government policy documents, peer-reviewed research papers, studies and statistics.

By using the best available data to inform your actions and decisions, you will be able to justify the things that you have done as part of your job role as well as make well-founded decisions that have better outcomes for service users.

It is essential that you obtain as much information as possible before making a decision so that you gain have a full picture of the current context.

Evidence-based practice is also important for competence and accountability. If a decision that you make does not have the intended outcome, you may be answerable to others. By showing that your decision was based on the available evidence, you will be able to explain the reasons for your decision and justify your actions.

Evidence-based practice should not utilise solely research but also incorporate service user perspectives and your own clinical experience and reasoning (Sackett et al, 2000).

Examples of how evidence-based practice can be used in your own setting can be found here.