Components of Evidence-Based Practice

What are the Components of Evidence-Based Practice?

Have you ever wondered how professionals in human services make decisions? Evidence-based practice (EBP) is a framework that guides these choices by combining the best available research with experience and client desires. This article explores the four-step process of EBP and dives deeper into the key components that contribute to its effectiveness.

What is Evidence-Based Practice?

Evidence-based practice is a framework for making informed decisions in human services. In addition, it coalesces the best research available with the professional’s experience and the client’s desires. This four-step process starts by identifying an issue or question. Then, relevant research is found and evaluated for cachet. Next, the findings are applied to the unique situation at hand.

Additionally, the results are assessed to see if the chosen intervention is effective. By basing decisions on research and tailoring them to the individual, EBP strives to enhance the overall quality and effectiveness of human services.

What are the Components of Evidence-Based Practice?

Evidence-based practice (EBP) is an approach used in various fields, including healthcare, education, social work, and psychology, to make decisions and provide services based on the best available evidence, professional expertise, and client values/preferences. The components of evidence-based practice typically include:

  • Best available evidence
  • Clinician’s knowledge and skills
  • Patient’s wants and needs

Best Available Evidence

Evidence-based practice involves more than simply utilizing the most current and relevant research findings. However, many of the challenges and obstacles faced by practitioners in adopting an evidence-based approach stem from locating and effectively applying scientific evidence from research studies. A significant portion of the concerns and barriers experienced relate to the process of discovering appropriate high-quality evidence and then translating that evidence into practical clinical applications.

The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) recognizes these hurdles and is devoted to supporting physical therapists in developing skills to cultivate new evidence through original research, synthesize existing evidence from various sources into coherent and actionable conclusions, and ultimately make optimal use of that synthesized evidence to inform and enhance clinical practice. In addition, the APTA aims to equip therapists with the tools and resources required to effectively navigate the realm of evidence, enabling them to provide care that is firmly grounded in the best available scientific data and findings.

Clinician’s Knowledge and Skills

Physical therapists and assistants play a vital role in the evidence-based approach to patient care. Their expertise lies within a specific area of practice, where their education, training, and experience have equipped them to deliver a unique set of therapies.

Additionally, this “personal scope of practice” ensures they only perform interventions for which they are qualified. Throughout this process, their clinical judgment and decision-making skills are crucial. They must carefully assess each patient’s situation and select the safest and most effective course of treatment based on their knowledge and the latest research.

Patient’s Wants and Needs

The desires and requirements of the patient play a pivotal role in the evidence-based process. As outlined in the guiding principles for realizing the Vision, under the principle of “Consumer-centricity,” the values and objectives of the patient, client, or consumer will be the focal point of all endeavors undertaken by the physical therapy profession. Integrating the patient’s cultural considerations, needs, and values is an essential skill required to provide services that adhere to best practices.

In addition, the evidence-based approach in physical therapy must revolve around understanding and prioritizing each patient’s wants, needs, and personal goals. The guiding principles emphasize that the physical therapy field should be centered on genuinely serving the consumer, placing their unique values, aspirations, and cultural background at the core of all efforts and initiatives.

Therefore, developing the ability to incorporate these patient-specific factors sensitively is a crucial competency for physical therapists to deliver care that aligns with the highest standards and best practices of the profession.

What are the Problems Faced with Implementing Evidence-Based Practice?

Implementing evidence-based practice (EBP) in various fields, such as healthcare, education, social work, and others, can encounter several challenges. Here are some common problems faced, including:

  • Access to resources
  • Time constraints
  • Lack of expertise, experience, and knowledge of implementation
  • Lack of an implementation strategy
  • lack of support at organizational and managerial levels

Access to Resources

The biggest hurdle for individuals and organizations in implementing evidence-based practices (EBP) is finding the right resources. While some situations only require basic materials like textbooks and websites, others demand access to specialized research in online journals and databases. Unfortunately, such access can be limited.

For organizations with specific knowledge needs, investing in resources and expertise to translate them into usable information might be necessary. However, simply learning how to utilize free online resources effectively can significantly improve EBP development.

Time Constraints

Finding the time to implement evidence-based practices is a significant hurdle across many professions. It is clear that teachers struggle to find time for research and implementing best practices due to their demanding workloads. This isn’t unique to education – professionals in various fields are often stretched thin and have to juggle multiple responsibilities.

Moreover, this lack of time to source, understand, and translate research into practical applications is consistently identified as the most significant barrier to adopting and maintaining EBP.

Lack of Expertise, Experience, and Knowledge of Implementation

Research suggests that organizations lacking experience and knowledge in four key areas are more likely to struggle with implementing new practices. These areas are basing decisions on solid evidence, putting the plan into action, managing both the evidence and the people involved, and providing leadership that champions evidence-based approaches.

Lack of an Implementation Strategy

Organizations that don’t plan how to implement evidence-based practices (practices proven to work) are setting themselves up for failure. These practices won’t stick around long-term, become ingrained in the way people work, or truly become part of everyday routines.

Lack of Support at Organisational and Managerial Levels

A major obstacle to implementing evidence-based practices is that staff often lack the time to properly research and implement them. This is due to a lack of organizational and managerial support. There are solutions, however. Organizations can introduce reliable administrative assistants to free up staff time. Additionally, prioritizing EBP initiatives with the potential for significant improvements can help justify the time investment. Finally, utilizing specialist research groups like The Oxford Review can help translate research findings into actionable steps for staff.


In conclusion, evidence-based practice offers a framework for informed decision-making in human services. This is by combining research, professional expertise, and client preferences. While challenges like access to resources and time constraints exist, EBP can significantly improve the quality and effectuality of services.

Professionals can ensure their interventions are grounded in the best available evidence. However, overcoming these hurdles tailored to individual needs ultimately leads to positive outcomes. However, If you are struggling to write your nursing dissertation you can order your paper here 

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