Resources For Evidence-Based Health Care: Accessibility And Availability

Preethy D’Souza, Anice George, Sreekumaran Nair, Judith Noronha, Vishnu Renjith, B Unnikrishnan, Shivananda Bhatt


Evidence – Based Practice (EBP) is a problem solving approach to clinical care that incorporates the conscientious use of current best evidence from well-designed studies,  clinician’s expertise, and patient values and preferences (Melnyk & Fineout-Overholt, 2005; Sackett, Straus, Richardson, Rosenberg, &Haynes, 2000). It is important to see clinical expertise as the ability to integrate research evidence and patients' circumstances and preferences to help patients arrive at optimal decisions (Guyatt, Cook,& Haynes, 2004). Research has shown that patient outcomes are 28% better when clinical care is based upon evidence, versus clinical practice steeped in tradition (Heater, Becker, & Olsen, 1998).   The process of EBP minimizes the translation time needed for incorporating research findings into practice and clarifies the differences between ritualistic practice, habitual approaches, personal preferences, anecdotal experiences, empirical data, and statistical significance to support nursing practice (Alspach, 2006). The availability of evidence based practice tools and methods helps in faster identification of the best available evidence to provide care at the point it matters most.


Implementing EBP in health care is complex and challenging. One of the main components of EBP is retrieving evidence from different sources. Information explosion with thousands of health literature and research papers published every year has created a need to expand the knowledge base for providing evidence based health care worldwide. Retrieval of evidence from various sources may be difficult due to several reasons. It may be difficult for health professionals to find the best available evidence due to time constraints (Ervin, 2002) or lack of knowledge among health professionals to effectively search for evidence (Sitzia, 2002). It is even difficult to find authentic sources of evidence.

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