Search for Literature and Levels of Evidence
Evidence-based practice has emerged as one of the most important approaches towards addressing the healthcare needs of different patient populations. Evidence-based practice is applicable to all healthcare areas and settings including the field of nursing. This approach provides a framework for healthcare providers to share clinical experiences in order to enhance patient care practices. This is primarily because evidence-based practice is based on clinical expertise, research findings, and patients’ values (Peterson et al., 2014). Given its role in enhancing patient outcomes, the use of research evidence in healthcare practice is an anticipated standard of nursing practice and various healthcare settings.
While evidence-based practice is a suitable approach towards enhancing patient outcomes, its implementation in nursing care requires consideration of various factors including clinical need, context of nursing care, and quality of research findings/evidence. These factors play a crucial role in promoting the effective integration of evidence-based practice in nursing care. Hain & Kear (2015) state that implementation of evidence-based nursing care requires consideration of research evidence, personal expertise, and patient or family preference. These considerations are made to help in clinical decision-making to address a significant nursing clinical issue.
During the process of clinical decision-making, nurses identify a significant nursing clinical issue or change project and search for research evidence to enhance their care practices. The nursing issue is formulated into a searchable, clinical question that provides acts as the guide for the nursing care. Research evidence for the searchable, clinical question is obtained through conducting a comprehensive search for literature. The evidence is then examined to determine its relevance and guide nursing care practice.
An example of a significant nursing clinical issue that could be used to formulate a searchable, clinical issue is hypertension. Hypertension is a major nursing clinical issue given that it accounts for a considerable portion of the healthcare burden across the globe. As the number of hypertensive patients is expected to increase in the coming decade, healthcare providers are constantly looking for evidence-based practice for treating this disease. The implementation of evidence-based practice in treatment of hypertension is crucial towards improving patient outcomes and reducing disease incidence. An example of a searchable, clinical question for this disease based on existing treatment approaches is as follows:
“In adult hypertensive patients population, is meditation intervention effective compared to antihypertensive medication comparison in lessening high blood pressure…