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Respiratory Care: Evidence-Based Practice

Resources for Respiratory Care coursework and career research.


Evidence Based Practice (EBP) is the integration of clinical expertise, patient values, and the best research evidence into the decision making process for patient care. Clinical expertise refers to the clinician’s cumulated experience, education and clinical skills. The patient brings to the encounter his or her own personal preferences and unique concerns, expectations, and values. The best research evidence is usually found in clinically relevant research that has been conducted using sound methodology (Sackett D, 2002).


5 Steps

The 5 "A's" will help you to remember the EBN process:

  1. ASKInformation needs from practice are converted into focused, structured questions.
    • PICO: Patient/Problem, Intervention, Comparison, Outcome
  2. ACQUIRE The focused questions are used as a basis for literature searching in order to identify relevant external evidence from research. Here is where you search the library databases for journal articles related to your questions.
  3. APPRAISE In this step you critically appraise the evidence for its validity, impact, and usefulness in clinical practice. If you do not use a systematic reviews database, you will have to appraise whether or not the research is clinically sound.
  4. APPLY: The best available evidence is used alongside clinical expertise and the patient's perspective to plan care. This is the step where you integrate the evidence with your clinical expertise and the unique needs and values of your patient/situation.
  5. ASSESS:  Performance is evaluated through a process of self reflection, audit, or peer assessment. After applying what you've learned from the literature to your situation, you will need to evaluate outcomes in shorter-term and longer-term intervals.

From UNC Health Sciences Library

CINAHL Complete: Evidence-Based Practice

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