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Communication Sciences & Disorders: Evidence Based Practice


What is Evidence-Based Practice?

Evidence-Based Practice is defined as the integration of best research evidence with clinical expertise and patient values (Sackett et al. 1996).

Evidence Based Databases

Introduction to Evidence Based Searching

PICO and Searching

Applying PICO to your Search:

Types of Studies:

Forming a PICO(TS) Question

Forming a PICO/PICOT question

Creating a research question is a simple idea, but can be a complicated task.  A well-built question is neither too broad nor too narrow.  One method is to create a PICO or PICOT question.  You may not have all of the information available when you start, but you should at least have the P and I before you start searching for information.  The worksheets linked below can be valuable when determining this information.  The answers to these questions can help you formulate your keywords for your search strategy.

P - Patient population (What differentiates your population?  age, sex, race, ethnicity, disease process, comorbidities)

I - Intervention (What action do you want to take with the population?  What has this population been exposed to that you wish to examine?)

C - Comparison (What are you comparing your intervention against - The control group?  The gold standard treatment?)

O - Outcome (What will be improved?  What is the desired outcome?)

T - Time (Does timing matter?  When should the patient follow up?  Is it day or night?  Is there a drug administration schedule?)

  • If the outcomes will be determined a while after the intervention, you may be conducting a cohort study or a prospective study
  • If the outcomes will be determined at the time of the intervention, you may be conducting a cross sectional study
  • If the outcomes are determined prior to the intervention, you may be conducting a case-control study


Hall, H. R., & Roussel, L. A. (2016). Evidence-based practice. Jones & Bartlett Publishers

Sackett, D. L., W. M. Rosenberg, J. A. Gray, R. B. Haynes, and W. S. Richardson. 1996. "Evidence Based Medicine: What it is and what it isn't." BMJ (Clinical Research Ed.) 312 (7023): 71-72.

Research Librarian

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Jamie Bloss
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Greenville, NC 27834
Skype Contact: ms.bloss