Why are you looking for evidence?

Typically, you’ll have a specific question that you’re looking to answer, or you'll just want to keep your practice up to date on what’s happening in your field.


Informing your practice

The first step in evidence-based practice is to be clear about what it is you want to find out. It often helps to formulate a specific question. Your question also provides a structure to help you to develop your strategy for searching for evidence.

In clinical practice you will probably have a variety of questions, for example:

  • How do you manage a specific patient?
  • What interventions are most effective for a particular patient group?
  • What are the best assessment tools for a specific patient/patient group?
  • Are you delivering your service in the most cost effective way?
  • Are there any innovative ways of delivering your service to improve the quality of your service?
  • What are patients’ experiences of receiving a particular intervention?
  • What are the benefits and risks of a specific intervention?

Different questions need different types of evidence and this will affect how you structure your question and search strategy.

There are a number of different tools for developing research questions and search concepts.

Keeping your practice up to date

Every day new research and information is being published. It would be impossible to keep up to date in all your areas of clinical practice by undertaking evidence searches. There are lots of ways of becoming aware of new evidence as soon as it is available.

You can keep up to date through individual EBP or networking which can be in person or remotely.  They have different advantages and disadvantages

An important advantage of networking is that it is interactive and provides opportunity not just to find new evidence but also to discuss its relevance and application with peers and experts.

Below are examples of ways of keeping up to date, it is good to use a variety of ways.

Individual EBPOnline networks
  • Journal alerts
  • Topic alerts
  • Website alerts
  • New alerts - RSS feeds

Find out more on how to set up alerts.

  • Social media
  • Conferences, courses, webinars, workshops
  • Interactive websites eg iCSP
  • Journal clubs and meetings

Find out more about networking and how to learn from events.

CSP networks

The CSP supports a range of networks which all offer CPD events:

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