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Steps for Evidence-Based Behavioral Practice

The evidence based practice process has five steps:

  1. Ask important questions about the care of individuals, communities, or populations. 
  2. Acquire the best available evidence regarding the question.
  3. Critically appraise the evidence for validity and applicability to the problem at hand. 
  4. Apply the evidence by engaging in collaborative health decision-making with the affected individual(s) and/or group(s). Appropriate decision-making integrates the context, values and preferences of the care recipient, as well as available resources, including professional expertise.
  5. Assess the outcome and disseminate the results.

Because the evidence-based process informs future questions and practice, it is useful to imagine it as a cycle:

Five steps of evidence-based practice.

In following this cycle, the theory of evidence-based practice may be seen as a transdisciplinary approach that not only aims for quality care of individual patients, but also improves accountability for health care practices and promotes life-long learning. These aspects are also reflected in the history of EBP, which addresses a need for quality practice and quality research evidence to support that practice.





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