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Evidence Based Clinical Practice or Evidence Based Medicine is the integration of best research evidence with clinical expertise and patient values. The best research evidence refers to high quality materials available through a variety of sources. Clinical expertise or clinical data is data gathered by examining the patient, or any unique characteristics of the patient. Patient values help the clinician understand the goals and whether or not the patient is interested in diagnostic test, treatment, or options being considered by the clinician.
(Straus SE, Glasziou P, Richardson WS, et al. Evidence-based medicine: how to practice and teach EBM. 5th ed.,Elsevier, 2019.)
The complete evidence cycle is represented by the diagram shown below. It is made up with a series of steps represented by the 5 A's. In this guide we will focus on the ask, acquire and appraise steps only. The apply and act steps are always left up to the discretion of a physician or other clinician. Always remember, the patient should be at the center of any evidence gathered, evaluated and applied.