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Physician Assistant

Welcome to the LibGuide for the Physician Assistant (PA) Program. This guide has been designed to provide information and resources that will help you, the student, during the program.

What is "Evidence-Based Practice?"

"Evidence based medicine is the conscientious, explicit, and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients. The practice of evidence based medicine means integrating individual clinical expertise with the best available external clinical evidence from systematic research." (Sackett et al., 1996, p. 71).

Sackett, D.L., Rosenberg, W.M., Gray, J.A., Haynes, R.B., Richardson, W.S., 1996. Evidence-based medicine: what it is and what it isn’t. BMJ (Clinical Research Ed.), 312(7023), 71–2.

Steps of EBP

1. Assess the patient.

2. Ask a searchable clinical question (see "Ask" box below).

3. Acquire the evidence by searching resources.

4. Appraise the evidence for validity (is it accurate information from a reputable source?), applicability (usefulness in answering your clinical question), and timeliness (current). 

5. Apply information drawn from your evidence, combined with clinical expertise and patient values to make a clinical decision in practice. 

6. Self-evaluate your performance with the patient and your ability to answer your clinical question. 

Information about Practicing EBP

Evidence-Based Practice e-Books

Types of Evidence

An evidence pyramid is a way to organize different types of evidence in EBP research. The  evidence pyramid helps us visualize both the quality of evidence and the amount of evidence available. Systematic reviews are at the top of the pyramid because it is summary evidence (when experts critically evaluate all literature on a topic) and it is the least common. 

When facilitating EBP (asking a clinical question), you want to look at summary evidence such as Systematic Reviews, Practice Guidelines, and any resources on critically-appraised topics. 


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