Evidence based practice (EBP) is the conscientious use of current best evidence in making decisions about patient care (Sackett, Straus, Richardson, Rosenberg, & Haynes, 2000).

It is a problem solving approach to clinical practice and administrative issues that integrates:

  • A systematic search for and critical appraisal of the most relevant evidence to answer a burning clinical question
  • One's own clinical expertise
  • Patient preferences and values (Melnyk & Fineout-Overholt, 2014)

The EBP process is a method that allows the practitioner to assess research, clinical guidelines, and other information resources based on high quality findings and apply the results to practice. Evidence-based practice (EBP) is spreading in popularity in many health care disciplines. One of its main features is the reliance on the partnership among hard scientific evidence, clinical expertise, and individual patient needs and choices. Librarians play an important role in the spread of EBP because of the importance of identifying and retrieving appropriate literature from various sources for use in making health care decisions. Here we hope to give you an overview of how to search for therapy, diagnosis, etiology, and prognosis both for original studies and secondary publications such as systematic reviews, meta-analyses, and clinical practice guidelines. Understanding how this research is done, how it is indexed, and how to retrieve the clinical evidence are an important set of skills that librarians can provide for clinicians interested in EBP.


Below you will find information and tutorials, both general and introductory, and detail oriented instructional presentations:

  • Generalized overview of Evidence Based Medicine Presentiment
    • Evidence Based Med PwrPt by Sally Harvey.pdf - The following presentation was developed by former Library Director Sally Harvey, MLS, for presenting in the Sonoran University (formerly SCNM) classroom environment. It is a generalized overview of Evidence Based Medicine, including utilizing PICO as part of the inquiry method. 
  • Creative Commons presentations provided as Free Open Access links through the University of Minnesota
  • YouTube videos with either introductory overviews or more thorough detailed presentations on EBP 
  • 5 part series on Evidence Based Practice by Wolters-Kluwer: Watch the videos to discover what Evidence-Based Practice is, who uses it, the types of research that are behind EBP, and the myths and realities of it! Now in 5 separate parts for your convenience! Speaker: Anne Dabrow Woods MSN, RN, CRNP, ANP-BC Chief Nurse and Publisher
    1. What is Evidence Based Practice? (4 minutes)
    2. What is Evidence Based Practice Methodology? (6 minutes)
    3. Who Uses Evidence Based Practice? (2 minutes)
    4. Types of Research Used for Evidence Based Practice (4 minutes)
    5. Myths and Realities of Evidence Based Practice (3 minutes)


Resources for EBP

The following resources help to advance the knowledge and skills related to Evidence Based Practice.

  • The Joanna Briggs Institute
    • The Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) is an independent, international, not-for-profit research and development organisation based in the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Adelaide, South Australia.
    • At its core, JBI is concerned with improving health outcomes in communities globally by promoting and supporting the use of the best available evidence to inform decisions made at the point of care. This work begins and ends with the needs of those working in and using healthcare services. We seek to respond to their questions and provide high quality, reliable information that is pragmatic and useful where it counts.
    • To achieve this, we work with universities and hospitals from across the globe through the Joanna Briggs Collaboration. In doing so we ensure that the research evidence we seek to synthesize, transfer and implement is culturally inclusive and relevant across the diversity of healthcare internationally. This also includes consideration of a broad range of evidence as it relates to the feasibility, appropriateness, meaningfulness and effectiveness of healthcare interventions.
    • In addition to this important collaborative work we offer a range of systematic review and clinical audit tools, evidence-based point of care resources and varied educational programs to further support those who seek to access, appraise or use research evidence.
    • In addition to their various tools and informational pages, is this resource page (database, journals, tools, & more) dedicated to Evidence Based Practice.


  • Specific resources available through the Sonoran University Library:
    • Evidence-Based Medicine : How to Practice and Teach EBM, by Straus et al., 5th edition, 2019 (Library Reference WB 102.5 S912 2019). Available for purchase on Amazon ($37.10).
    • How to Read a Paper : The Basics of Evidence-Based Medicine and Healthcare, by Greenhalgh, 6th edition, 2019 (Library Reference WB 102.5 G813 2019). Available for purchase on Amazon ($37.39).
    • Studying A Study & Testing A Test, by Riegelman & Rinke, 6th edition (Library eBook on LWW)
    • Users' Guides to the Medical Literature : A Manual for Evidence-Based Clinical Practice, by Guyatt et al., 3rd edition, 2015 (Library Reference WB 102.5 U845 2015). Available for purchase on Amazon ($46.44).