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You have identified an opportunity, written a PURPOSE statement, identified stakeholders, and formed a team. Now, you are ready to dive in to assemble, appraise, and synthesize the body of evidence related to your topic (Iowa Model Collaborative, 2017). This part of the evidence-based practice (EBP) process can seem daunting. To make this step less overwhelming, work as a team, follow an organized process, and use the tools provided in this chapter to keep the tasks manageable and the evidence organized. The direction may evolve as the project PURPOSE is informed during evidence synthesis. At this point, the team is learning about assessment, interventions, patient preferences, health behaviors, practice patterns, and outcomes from the literature, while using their clinical expertise and patient preferences. Inherent in the definition of EBP is shared decision-making between the clinician and patient based on the best evidence and the patient’s values and preferences (Sackett et al., 2000; Sigma Theta Tau International 2005–2007 Research Scholarship Advisory Committee, 2008). Thus, patient preferences are especially important to highlight and should not be neglected in the EBP process (Larsen et al., 2019). Keep in mind, the evidence review may not be linear but rather a series of sequential steps (see Figure 5.1). Engage the EBP team in evidence review because it is a shared responsibility, creates a learning environment, helps team members understand the science supporting the practice change, and leads to buy-in (Gallagher-Ford et al., 2019; Phillips, 2022; Sullivan, 2020). Build team knowledge for design of the localized EBP protocol and to troubleshoot use. A group approach (e.g., journal club; see Strategy 1-8) shares the work, helps balance intellectual biases, and capitalizes on individual expertise.


Process for Assemble, Appraise, and Synthesize the Body of Evidence


In order to assemble the evidence, use the most appropriate resources for the topic to search and capture relevant evidence to inform EBP changes. Follow a prescribed systematic process, such as a checklist (see Tool 5.1), to stay organized and promote efficient use of time. Determine the resources available for searches from the health sciences library website for your setting. In the absence of an online health sciences library, consider partnering with a local university (Deberg et al., 2012). Whenever possible, seek support and collaboration from a health sciences librarian to increase the efficiency of the search and best evidence yield (Bougioukas et al., 2020; R. E. Brown, 2020; Dhakal, 2018; Kavanaugh, 2021).

Search Terms

Think SEARCH as you begin to identify and assemble the body of evidence. The acronym SEARCH is intuitive and aligns with PURPOSE and relevant concepts to conduct a systematic search (see Example 5.1). SEARCH includes six elements ...

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