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Communication Sciences & Disorders

What is Evidence-based Practice?

Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) is a broad concept referring to the incorporation of valid and relevant external evidence during the decision making process.
You may have also heard of Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM), which offers a similar definition and involves the integration of best research evidence with clinical expertise and patient values.1

The Evidence-Based Practice Process

Evidence-based practice (EBP) is the process of applying current, best evidence (external and internal scientific evidence), patient perspective, and clinical expertise to make decisions about the care of the individuals you treat.

The process consists of implementing the following five steps:

  1. Ask a focused clinical question
  2. Search for the best research evidence
  3. Appraise the quality of the research evidence
  4. Integrate the evidence with information about the patient and one's clinical expertise to make a decision
  5. Reflect on the process to improve future practice


1. Sackett DL, Rosenberg WMC, Gray JAM, Haynes RB, Richardson WS. Evidence based medicine: what it is and what it isn't. BMJ (Clinical research ed). 1996;312(7023):71-72.