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3. Definitions

While the essence of evidence based practice is widely agreed and is described as a combination of the following three factors:
1. best evidence
        2. best clinical experience
        3. consistent with client values
there are many definitions of evidence based practice. Some examples are:

Social work

Evidence based practice represents “an approach to decision making which is transparent, accountable, and based on a consideration of current best evidence about the effects of particular interventions n the welfare of individuals, groups and communities. - Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Social Work (2000)

Evidence Based practice is the use of the best available scientific knowledge as one basis for guiding professional interventions and effective therapies, combined with the professional ethical standards, clinical judgement, and practice wisdom - Dictionary of Social Work (5th Edition)


Evidence based practice is a process that considers “ the conscientious, explicit, and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individuals ...” (Sackett, Richardson, Rosenberg & Haynes, 1997)
By ‘integrating individual practice expertise with the best available external evidence from systematic research as well as considering the values and expectations of clients (Gambrill 1999:456)


Evidence based clinical practice is an approach to decision making in which the clinician uses the best evidence available, in consultation with the patient, to decide upon the option which suits that patient best". Source: Muir Gray JA. (1997) Evidence-based healthcare: how to make health policy and management decisions. London: Churchill Livingstone.

Evidence-based practice (EBP) is an approach to health care wherein health professionals use the best evidence possible, i.e. the most appropriate information available, to make clinical decisions for individual patients. EBP values, enhances and builds on clinical expertise, knowledge of disease mechanisms, and pathophysiology. It involves complex and conscientious decision-making based not only on the available evidence but also on patient characteristics, situations, and preferences. It recognizes that health care is individualized and ever changing and involves uncertainties and probabilities. Ultimately EBP is the formalization of the care process that the best clinicians have practised for generations". Source: McKibbon KA (1998). Evidence based practice. Bulletin of the Medical Library Association 86 (3): 396-401.