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Evidence-Based Practice

This guide will help you work through the process of Evidence-Based Practice.


At this step of the process, you are identifying where you are going to look for the answers, formulating the search and getting the information.

In order to select the best database for your particular question you need to know…

  • What each database specializes in.
  • How it is indexed.
  • If EBP filters are available.
  • What format the results are presented in.
  • What you have access to.

Where do I find...?

Filtered Resources

Filtered resources appraise the quality of studies and often make recommendations for practice.

Unfiltered Resources

Evidence is not always available via filtered resources. Searching the primary literature may be required. It is possible to use specific search strategies in MEDLINE and other databases to achieve the highest possible level of evidence.

Background Information/Expert Opinion

Evidence in these resources may vary from expert opinion to high levels of evidence. They can inform you about your research topic and answer your background question.

TRIP Database

The TRIP Database is a clinical search engine designed to allow users to quickly and easily find and use high-quality research evidence to support their practice and/or care.

EBP Pyramid

Developing your search strategy...

The search process...

  • Broad search with keywords.
    • Look to your PICOT for search terms.
  • Narrow search with limiters.
    • Look to your PICOT for limits.
  • Consider using controlled vocabulary for a more precise search. For example, MeSH, CINAHL Subject Headings. Review this tutorial to learn more about MeSH.
  • Search multiple resources.
  • Identify specific articles that may answer your question.
    • Use the clinical question to check to see the the study/article could answer it.

​​Review the Foley Library's Searching Health Science Literature tutorial to help you learn more on searching.

Review the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine "Finding the evidence: a how-to guide".

Getting Full-Text...

Review the Foley Library Basics for more information on obtaining full-text articles.

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