What is Evidence Based Practice?
In a clinical environment, Evidence Based Practice (EBP) is a thoughtful integration of the best available evidence, coupled with clinical expertise.
Silagy and Haines (1998) describe evidence-based health care as an approach that 'takes account of evidence at a population level as well as encompassing interventions concerned with the organisation and delivery of health care'.
Silagy, C & Haines, A 1998, Evidence-based practice in primary care, London, BMJ Books.
Types of research articles
There are several different kinds of articles frequently found in the literature for medical and health sciences.
- Case report – a description of a particular service or event, often focusing on unusual aspects of the reported situation or adverse occurrences.
- Case series – a description of more than one case.
- Case-control study – An observational study in which the cases have the issue of interest (e.g. successful literature searching) but the controls do not.
- Cohort study – An observational study of a particular group over a period of time.
- Randomised Controlled Trial – An experimental study in which users are randomly allocated to one of two or more options, where some get the option of interest and others get another option (e.g. a standard service).
- Systematic review – An approach that involves capturing and assessing the evidence by some systematic method, where all the components of the approach and the assessment are made explicit and documented.
- Meta-analysis - A method of synthesising the data from more than one study, in order to produce a summary statistic.
Source: Booth A & Brice A (2004) Evidence Based Practice for Information Professionals: A Handbook. London: Facet Publishing.
Randomized controlled trials, systematic reviews, and meta-analyses are considered to be stronger forms of evidence and will be more desirable for your final paper.