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.

There are three key ways of keeping up to date – individual EBP, electronic networking and face to face networking. These all 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 each way of keeping up to date but you should try to find a variety of ways from each category.

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

Find out more on how to set up alerts.

  • Blogs
  • Twitter
  • Interactive websites eg iCSP
  • Webinars
  • Talking to colleagues
  • CPD events
  • Conferences, courses, lectures, workshops
  • 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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