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A beginner’s Guide to Evidence –Based Practice in Health and Social care (second edition)

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Title: A beginner’s Guide to Evidence –Based Practice in Health and Social care

Authors: Helen Aveyard and Pam Sharp

Publisher: Open University Press

Reviewer: John Davies, junior matron. Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

What was it like?

The book begins by clearly and simply defining what evidence based practice is and how it can support decision making in practice. The concept of clinical judgement is also explored and how this “art” can be used in conjunction with evidence based decisions to inform the best possible decision making in a clinical setting. It identifies that developing an evidence based approach is both an individuals and organisations responsibility to deliver high quality care.

There is a good discussion about the different types of research available and the best way to use or not use evidence to drive practice development. Each chapter follows a logical process on how to identify, find and use evidence. Critical thinking is explored from a beginner’s perspective, with an introduction and signposting to the many critical appraisal tools available, this enables the reader to develop strategies to differentiate between “good” evidence and “poor” evidence. With only 160 pages the book is easy to read and should not confuse the reader due to the clear writing style.

What were the highlights?

Simply and clearly explained, giving practical examples in all chapters. Although based at the beginners level the book points the reader to more comprehensive resources.

Strengths and weaknesses

The book is written so it supports the practitioner who may have anxiety about dipping their toe into the world of research. There are particularly strong sections, which focus on developing an effective search strategy and refining the research question.

Although there is a chapter discussing implementation of evidenced based practice, the book may have benefited from more practical advice on how evidence based healthcare can be embraced in the clinical setting, particularly in a culture where the organisation may be resistive to change.

Who should read it?

Students in health and social care, registered practitioners, practitioners returning to practice, assessors and mentors. Particularly suitable to practitioners who have not received formal education in evidence based healthcare and wish to understand it further.


A beginner's Guide to Evidence -Based Practice in Health and Social care


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