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Nursing Resources

Nursing materials for undergraduate and graduate students at the Macdonald-Kelce Library.

5 Steps of EBP

1.  Identify the Question

2.  Access the Evidence

3.  Appraise the Evidence

4.  Use the Evidence

5.  Evaluate the Change

The Five As of Evidence Based Cycle for PICOT

The Five A's of the Evidence Cycle:

Building a PICO/PICOT/PICOTS Framework

Incorporating best evidence into nursing requires a systematic approach.  A clear series of steps, known as the Evidence Cycle, can provide an excellent paradigm to guide you through this process.  It involves knowing the right question to ask, turning that question into a good search, knowing the best place to look, finding what is available, appraising the results, and then using the evidence you find to care for your patient population.  Use the "5 A's" as a step-by-step guide to locate best evidence.

  1. Assess:  Identify the health problem.  What is it you want to know?
  1. Ask:  Use the PICOT formula to create a good question
    • = Patient:  Who is your patient population?  Describe the most important characteristics of the patient.  (e.g., age, disease/condition, gender)
    • I = Intervention:  What type of intervention are you trying to assess?  An educational intervention, a prevention initiative such as immunization, a policy change?  Describe the main intervention.  (e.g., exposure to disease, a prognostic factor, drug or other treatment, diagnostic/screening test)
    • C = Comparison:  Is there a control?  Describe the main alternative being considered.  (e.g., placebo, standard therapy, no treatment, no disease or absence of risk factor, the gold standard)
    • O = Outcome:  What do you hope to accomplish?  Better/best prevention method(s)?  Describe what you're trying to accomplish, measure, improve, affect, including a time horizon if relevant.  (e.g., clinical outcome, reduced mortality or morbidity, improved memory, accurate and timely diagnosis)
    • T  = Time:  Is there a time frame to reach the desired outcome with chosen intervention?
    • S = Setting:  Sometimes you will see "S" in a PICOT framework which can stand for Setting (e.g. primary, specialty, inpatient, nursing homes, or other long-term care setting) where the study is implemented and the relevance of the study setting to real world use. You may also see "S" used for Study Design (e.g. Randomized Controlled Trial) as an important factor in your PICOT question.
  1. Acquire: Use your PICOT formula to search for good evidence.  Start your search using only two to three terms - you can always add more.  Create a chart and write down your primary search terms/synonyms/MeSH terms/CINAHL headings for each section of your PICOT.
  1. Appraise:  What have you found?  Where did you find it?  Are the results significant to your patient population?  How strong is the evidence?  Are there any confounding variables such as bias present?
  1. Apply:  Now apply and discuss the evidence you have found with your patient population.

Good videos

Hierarchy of Evidence Based Illustration

Image result for hierarchy of evidence



Introduction to Evidence Based Practice: A Practical Guide for Nursing​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Introduction to Evidence-Based Practice by Lisa Hopp; Leslie Rittenmeyer

Call Number: RT 42.H66 2012

  • ISBN: 9780803623286
  • Publication Date: 2012-02-10


​​​​​​​Studying a Study and Testing a Test



Evidence-Based Practice in Action, Second Edition


  • Evidence-Based Practice in Action by Sona Dimidjian (Editor) 
  • ISBN: 9781462539765
  • Publication Date: 2019-08-30
  • A growing number of empirically supported treatments are available to mental health practitioners, yet evidence-based practice requires knowledge and skills that are often overlooked in clinical training. This authoritative reference and text grounds the reader in the concepts, rationale, and methods of evidence-based practice. Clinicians and students are guided to consult and evaluate the research literature, use data to inform clinical decision making, consider the role of culture and context, craft sound case formulations, monitor progress and outcomes, and continuously develop their expertise. Of particular utility, the book includes rich, chapter-length case studies. Leading proponents of cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, behavioral activation, and other approaches make explicit the ways they draw on evidence throughout the process of assessment and treatment.  


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