Evidence-based practice (EBP) is "a problem-solving approach to practice that involves the conscientious use of current best evidence in making decisions about patient care." It involves a systematic search for the most relevant evidence, as well as critical appraisal of the quality (or level) of this evidence to answer a clinical question.
Sources: Bennet, C. (2007). Evidence-based practice.
This series of 12 articles, provided free from the AJN: American Journal of Nursing website, begins with the development of the clinical (PICO) question and carries the reader through the appraisal of evidence, implementation, and dissemination of best practices.
Several types of research articles are commonly found in the literature for medical and health sciences, and each type can be assigned to a level within the hierarchy of levels described below. Systematic reviews, meta-analyses, randomized clinical trials and controlled trials, are considered to be stronger forms of evidence than levels 4-7.
To find levels I,II, and III evidence in CINAHL, limit your search by Publication Type. In PubMed, limit your search by Article Type.
CINAHL Publication Types, Levels 1-3
Evidence-Based Care Sheet
Randomized Controlled Trial
To find Level IV evidence in CINAHL, clear any other limiters you have used, you may copy/paste this search string into one of the search boxes in your CINAHL search screen:
case-control OR correlational OR cross-sectional OR longitudinal OR cohort