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Keywords:

  • Evidence-based practice;
  • EBP process;
  • clinical measurements;
  • critical appraisal

Abstract

Purpose: Evidence-based practice (EBP) involves integrating research evidence with clinical expertise to answer clinical practice inquiries. The purpose of part 3 of this EBP series is to provide an introductory overview of the critical appraisal process, relevant clinical measurements, and critical thinking skills that can enhance nurse practitioners’ (NPs') confidence in the clinical decision-making process.

Data sources: Scientific literature review, gray literature, PubMed and other online literature databases and resources, and online EBP websites.

Conclusions: Critical appraisal skills can assist NPs in interpreting available research, determining its validity reliability, and applicability to their clinical practice. Similarities in the critical appraisal process center around determining a study's reliability, validity, and applicability to the client(s) in question, while the differences exist in the clinical measurements used within specific research designs.

Implications for practice: Because medicine is an evolving field, access to knowledge sources that address diagnostic, therapeutic, and prognostic questions is essential for the NP in order to maintain best practice skills. Making EBP user friendly for the practicing NP is paramount for utilization of best evidence.