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Evidence-based Practice: EBP Basics


Welcome to Alvernia Library's guide to Evidence-based Practice.  Please explore this guide for tips and resources to aide you in your evidence-based literature searching.  Feel free to contact a librarian with any questions or concerns!

Steps in the EBP Process

Evidence-Based Practice requires new skills including efficient literature searching, and the application of formal rules of evidence in evaluating the clinical literature.


ASSESS the  patient

1. Start with the patient -- a clinical problem or question arises from the care of the patient

ASK the question

2. Construct a well-built clinical question derived from the case

ACQUIRE the evidence

3. Select the appropriate resource(s) and conduct a search

APPRAISE the evidence

4. Appraise that evidence for its validity (closeness to the truth) and applicability (usefulness in clinical practice)

APPLY: talk to the patient

5. Return to the patient -- integrate that evidence with clinical expertise, patient preferences and apply it to practice


6. Evaluate your performance with this patient

Publication/ Article/ Study Types

Type of Question

Type of Research (Publication/ Article/ Study Type)


Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT)


RCT – Cohort Study – Case Control


RCT – Cohort Study 


Cohort Study – Case Control – Case Series – Case Report


RCT – Cohort Study – Case Control


Depending on the type of question you have, you can focus your search to certain study types. 

PICO Question

Create a clinical question using PICO(t) helps your focus you search.

P- Population

I- Intervention

C- Comparison

O- Outcome

P- Population

I- Intervention

C- Comparison

O - Outcome

Problem and/or Patient

Intervention or Indicator

Comparison Intervention


 What are the characteristics of the patient or population?

What is the condition or disease you are interested in?

What main intervention are you considering? 

What do you want to do with this patient?

What is the alternative to the intervention, if any (e.g. placebo, different drug, surgery)?

What are the relevant outcomes (measure, improve or affect)?


 Adults with acute bronchitis

 Treated with antibiotics

 Vs. inhaled albuterol

 Have improved clinical symptoms earlier?