Evidence Based Practice

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Evidence Based Practice for Nursing and Midwifery

Evidence Based Practice for Nursing and Midwifery


The concept of Evidence Based Practice (EBP) emerged during the 1980's to explain the method that used scientific evidence to establish the best possible practice. This was when the clinicians apart from physicians identified and recognized the importance of using scientific research for effective clinical decision making.

The most frequently used explanation for this term is, the thorough, explicit, and well thought-out use of the most appropriate evidence in making decisions for the individual patients care (Sackett, Hayes, Richardson, Gray & Rosenberg, 1996, P.p 71-72). Eventually experts began to discuss the process through which the research evidence is used to help make decisions about group of patients or specific populations. It is assumed in Evidence based practice that evidence used is in accordance with the particular patient's preference or needs, situation of the clinic and the expertise of the clinician. According to Muir Gray (2004, P.p.988), values and the available resources are also important as according to him Evidence based practice is making use of the finest and most accurate evidence in hand so that the clinician and the individual under care arrive at the best decision, taking into account the needs, requirements and principles of the patient at hand.

This practice combines using the evidence available with clinical expertise. After finding evidence, the health care professional must have skills like critical appraisal to evaluate the applicability and quality of the evidence, how appropriate the evidence is for the particular patient's case and should have the patience to involve the patient or client while planning how the patient will be cared for (Sackett et al, 2000). It is also expected that health care professionals can interpret, produce and critique research findings and understand already accessible evidence based on clinical method guidelines. The purpose of EBP is to make the correct move with accuracy, at the correct time for the patient, meaning catering to every individuals needs according to their situation (Trinder, L.2000, P.p 1-16). This is done by analyzing thoughts, ideas and previous practices and using what one has learnt to the future practices. An example of this would be a confidential investigation done into deaths of mothers in UK (Confidential Enquiry into Maternal and Child Health 2004) a statement that showed how the rate of maternal death had gone down over the past fifty years, an improvement that can be credited to the change in practice, evaluating what has been done and is known and then using that knowledge to determine what should be done next.

Process of Evidence Based Practice

Evidence keeps altering and changing with new advancements in technology, new research, fresh ideas and old and new options put together for new techniques which mean that a final method or effective practice cannot be established. (Gabby & le May, 2004, P.p 1013-1018). The EBP processes are a few well thought out steps:

The first and foremost thing to do is ask focused questions, framed so that they are ...
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