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Answering Evidence-Based Questions, Step by Step
When looking to answer a clinical question, there are five standard steps you should take:
ASK your question
ACCESS the evidence
APPRAISE the search results critically
APPLY your search findings to your patient's care
ASSESS the effect of the intervention...and start over if necessary
Asking your Question with PICO
To help you form an answerable question, you can use the PICO model to formulate your search question. Think of the following concepts when forming your question:
P: Patient or Population
Many of the traditional databases for finding journal articles are also great for finding information for an EBP search: PubMed, CINAHL, Embase. However, there are some databases that specialize in providing information for helping you with an EBP question.
1999-present. This collection of databases contains high-quality, independent evidence to inform healthcare decision-making. Cochrane reviews represent the highest level of evidence on which to base clinical treatment decisions.
Comparative Effectiveness Research (NLM)
Specialized searches of published research and research in progress to help inform investigations of comparative effectiveness.
Free resources added in June 2013. 1997-present. A clinical search engine designed to allow clinicians to quickly find answers to their clinical questions using the best available evidence by simultaneously searching multiple sites. To access Stony Brook University resources, login and edit your profile (via the 'settings' button) and select the institution from the drop-down menu. Next, save settings and then search. The full text links appear below the titles of primary research articles only.
ECRI Guidelines Trust
**Free registration required to access***
ECRI Guidelines Trust™ is a publicly available web-based repository of objective, evidence-based clinical practice guideline content. Its purpose is to provide physicians, nurses, other clinical specialties, and members of the healthcare community with up-to-date clinical practices to advance safe and effective patient care. This centralized repository includes evidence-based guidance developed by nationally and internationally recognized medical organizations and medical specialty societies.