"Unfortunately, there is a large though variable gap between what we know from research and what we do in clinical practice. Because so much research is published - some valid and some invalid - clinicians understandably are unaware of most of it, or do not have the 'tools' to assess its quality. Researchers, on the other hand, may not understand the information needs of clinicians and often present their work in a way that is not easily accessible to busy practitioners. In 1972, British epidemiologist Archie Cochrane highlighted the fact that most treament-related decisions were not based on a systematic review of clinical research. Rather, they were based on an ad hoc selection of information from the vast and variable quality scientific literature, on expert opinion or, worst of all, on trial and error."
Excerpt from Evidence-Based Practice Workbook, 2nd ed. by Paul Glasziou, Chris Del Mar and Janet Salisbury. Blackwell, 2007.
Pyramid of Evidence
Case control trial
1) "Sigma Theta Tau defines EBN as an integration of the best evidence available, nursing expertise, and the values and preferences of the individuals, families, and communities who are served. This assumes that optimal nursing care is provided when nurses and health care decision-makers have access to a synthesis of the latest research, with a consensus of expert opinion. They are thus able to exercise their judgement as they plan and provide care that takes into account cultural and personal values and preferences (Sigma Theta Tau International 2003)."
2) "The systematic interconnecting of scientifically generated evidence with the tacit knowledge of the expert practitioner to achieve a change in a particular practice for the benefit of a well defined client/patient group."
3) "EBN could be defined as ‘an ongoing process by which evidence, nursing theory and the practitioners’ clinical expertise are critically evaluated and considered, in conjunction with patient involvement, to provide delivery of optimum nursing care for the individual.’ This proposed definition of EBN indicates the use of evidence, theory and expertise in making decisions about optimum care for and with the individual patient."
4) “Evidence-based nursing is a process by which nurses make clinical decisions using the best available research evidence, their clinical expertise and patient preferences, in the context of available resources."
Prepared by the Rush University Medical Center Evidence-Based Practice Interest Group (May 7, 2012)