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Allied Health Subject Guide: Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) Resources

Library Databases and Resources

Evidence-Based Practice: A way of providing health care that is guided by a thoughtful integration of the best available scientific knowledge with clinical expertise. This approach allows the practitioner to critically assess research data, clinical guidelines, and other information resources in order to correctly identify the clinical problem, apply the most high-quality intervention and re-evaluate the outcome for future improvement (NLM PubMed MeSH).

The Evidence Pyramid is often used to illustrate the levels of evidence in the literature. When beginning your search for evidence, begin at the highest possible tier. 

PICO Questions

PubMed PICO Question Builder

A PICO template to search Pubmed for clinical queries.

Types of Questions

Common Types of Questions:

  • Therapy: how to select treatment to offer patients that do more good than harm and that are worth the efforts and costs of using them.
  • Diagnosis: how to select and interpret diagnostic tests in order to confirm or exclude a diagnosis, based on considering their specificity, sensitivity, likelihood ratios, expense, safety, etc.
  • Prognosis: how to estimate the patient's likely clinical course over time and anticipate likely complications of disease.
  • Etiology/Harm: how to identify causes for disease.
  • Prevention: how to reduce the chance of disease by identifying and modifying risk factors and how to diagnose early by screening.

The type of question is important and can help lead you to the best study design. To limit your search to a specific study design, use the database's filters/limits or add keywords to your search (e.g., lung cancer AND cohort).

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