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Advanced Health Sciences Research: Evidence

This guide is designed to assist Nursing and Health Sciences students with research projects.

What is Evidence-Based Practice?

Evidence-based medicine is the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients.1

Evidence-based practice (EBP) is therefore the process of combining both expertise and research in order to make informed decisions in the care of patients.2


EBP involves:

  1. Asking focused questions (using the PICO model) about how to care for or address a problem in the clinical setting;
  2. Finding the evidence to support specific treatment methods or solutions;
  3. Appraising the evidence for validity, clinical relevance, and applicability;
  4. Making a decision, and applying research evidence in practice;
  5. and Evaluating the performance of the medical intervention, treatment, or solution for future practice.

Strong, refined research and information literacy skills are essential for evidence-based practice, and practitioners must be able to locate, evaluate, and apply research to their clinical practice.

1, 2Center for Evidence-Based Medicine. (2011). What is EBM? Retrieved from:

For more information on Evidence-Based Practice and Medicine, visit the following links:

EBP Resources

Evidence-Based Practice requires a clinician or researcher to locate the best evidence and information to inform healthcare decision-making.

Both primary research and secondary reviews can be applied, and can be found in CINAHL, Cochrane Library, ProQuest Nursing, PubMed, and MEDLINE databases.

Largest collection of nursing journals including EBM journals and articles.
To refine your search, try one of the following:

  • Select Evidence-Based Practice under Refine Your Results;
  • In the Advanced Search menu, select Systematic Review or Practice Guidelines from the Publication Type list;
  • In the Advanced Search menu, select Review from the Clinical Queries list:
    • Sensitivity retrieves all related articles, including some material that may not be relevant to your search.
    • High Specificity is a targeted search that will only retrieve highly relevant results - some results may therefore be missed.
    • Best Balance balances the search between sensitivity and specificity.

The Cochrane Library
The Cochrane Library contains high-quality, independent systematic review evidence papers to inform healthcare decision-making. All material within the Cochrane Library has been prepared by experts, who carefully review the existing evidence related to specific clinical questions.

Nursing and Allied Health Source
Contains some evidence-based publications and review articles.
To refine your search:

  • Select Evidence-Based Resources within Search Options.

PubMed and PubMed Clinical Queries
Includes thousands of records on evidence.
To refine your search:

  • In PubMed, conduct a search, and limit results to comparative study, clinical trial, practice guideline, evaluation studies, meta-analysis, etc. under Article Types.
  • In PubMed Clinical Queries, search under Find Systematic Reviews

An extensive source for medicine and nursing evidence - most articles are not full text (articles can be requested through InterLibrary Loan).

Internet Sites for Evidence

TRIP Database
Medical search engine with emphasis on evidence based medicine (EBM) and clinical guidelines and queries.

National Guideline Clearinghouse
A public resource for evidence-based clinical practice guidelines.

A registry of federally and privately supported clinical trials conducted in the United States and around the world.

Evidence-Based Practice Tutorial for Nurses from PennState University Libraries.

Subject Guide

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Fiona Inglis