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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 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. Some systematic reviews include a meta-analysis (see below).
- 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.