Why do I do this?
Does it work?
Is there a better way?
We all want to deliver the best possible care we can to our patients.
We also need to be accountable for that care, and be able to provide information to our patients to enable them to make informed treatment decisions.
Here is an example where a new graduate nurse taught me my own technique ofÂ intramuscular injection had become based on tradition or ritual rather than best practice evidence.
I have just finished reading A Beginner’s Guide to Evidence Based Practice in Health and Social Care by Helen Aveyard and Pam Sharp. Open University Press (2009).
Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) requires that decisions about health care are based on the best available, current, valid and relevant evidence. These decisions should be made by those receiving care, informed by the tacit and explicit knowledge of those providing care, within the context of available resources.
Health care professionals must be able to gain, assess, apply and integrate new knowledge and have the ability to adapt to changing circumstances throughout their professional life.
I found this book to be a very comfortable and engaging read.
The chapters progressed logically, introducing and constantly reinforcing the many concepts clearly and putting them in the context of actual clinical experience.
Chapter 1: What is evidence based practice?
Chapter 2: The development of evidence based practice
Chapter 3: When do we need to use evidence and what evidence do we need?
Chapter 4: What are the different types of research? How do these different types of evidence help us answer different questions?
Chapter 5: How do I find the evidence to support my practice and learning?
Chapter 6: How do I know if the evidence is convincing and useful?
Chapter 7: How to use and implement evidence in your practice and learning
Do not be fooled by the beginners title. Although well suited for someone exploring EBP for the first time, this book is also an excellent resource for people like me, who have some understanding but become somewhat confused and confounded (and a little intimidated) when trying to integrate the whole parcel of EBP principlesÂ and terminology.
If this also sounds like you, I canÂ highly recommend this book to untangle the mysteries of EBP and to empower you to add both quality and question to your own practice and that of your colleagues.
Rated: 4.5 out of 5Â (It’s a keeper)
Just a few online resources for evidence based practice:
- Cochrane Library includes controlled trials, systematic reviews and economic evaluations. Access is free for all Australian residents.
- TRIP is a clinical search engine.
- Best Bets another EBM repository with an emergency medicine leaning.
- Joanna Briggs Institute: Best Practice information sheets, technical reports, systematic review protocols, selected articles and other information
- Best Practice contains current information on prevention, treatment, diagnosis and prognosis for specific conditions. Access is available on internet enabled mobile phones and handheld devices.
- Ovid Medline covers medicine, nursing, allied health and pre clinical sciences.
- Clinical Practice Guidelines portal Australian clinical practice guidelines