Understanding what guides selection of the best available evidence

Evidence has a practical role across many clinical applications as shown in the table below. However, not all evidence is equal and it is important that you understand the differences and how this should influence the evidence you look for and apply. In this section we examine some of the different forms of research and the type of evidence generated. We also look at what you should consider when selecting the most appropriate evidence for your question and purpose.

Starting point
Research Creation of new knowledge and/or use of existing knowledge in a new way to generate new concepts, methodologies, inventions, and understanding. [1] 
An evidence gap, novel observation or finding.
Evidence Based Practice (EBP) Evidence-based health care combines the best available evidence, clinical situation of the patient, patient preferences and actions, all bound together by clinical experience. [2]
A clinical problem or issue in relation to a patient.
Quality Improvement (QI) Improve the quality of care delivery processes and outcomes by ensuring the right things are done. [3]
Recognising a knowing-doing gap. 

  1. Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research 2018. Canberra: National Health and Medical Research Council, Australian Research Council and Universities Australia. Commonwealth of Australia, 2018.
  2. Van den Block L, Vandevoorde J. Evidence-Based Practice in Palliative Care. In: MacLeod R, Van den Block L, editors. Textbook of Palliative Care. Cham: Springer International Publishing; 2019. p. [1717-36]. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-77740-5_111
  3. Glasziou P, Ogrinc G, Goodman S. Can evidence-based medicine and clinical quality improvement learn from each other? BMJ Qual Saf. 2011 Apr;20 Suppl 1(Suppl_1):i13-17.

Last updated 19 August 2021