Evidence-Based Practice and the Theory-Practice Gap


Evidence-BasedPractice and the Theory-Practice Gap

&nbspEvidence-BasedPractice and the Theory-Practice Gap

Evidence-basedpractice is the conscientious, explicit, and judicious utilization ofexisting facts to make decisions about the care of a patient.Primarily, the medical practitioner integrates his/her expertise withthe best available external clinical evidence from research conductedthrough sound methodology (Levin,Fineout-Overholt, Melnyk, Barnes, &amp Vetter, 2011). Moreover,the practice also involves the incorporation of a patient’s valuesand beliefs in the decision-making process. The practice supports thepatient`s care process and cannot be utilized on its own. To enhanceefficiency in medical practice, one has to incorporate boththeoretical and practical knowledge. In EBP model there exist theinterrelationship between available facts and the theoreticalexpertise possessed by the clinician whereby they are both utilizedto make conclusions. This paper will analyze the benefits anddrawbacks of evidence-based practice.

Focuson EBP and Advanced Nursing Practice

Inessence, EBP is an important process as it enhances service deliveryto a patient whereby it enables the practitioner to attend to thepatient professionally using the available information. Moreover, thepractice is triggered by patient encounters that generate questionsabout various medical interventions thereby requiring the clinicianto consult evidence-based literature to enhance optimal clinicaloutcomes (Levin et al., 2011). Apparently, the availability of thenecessary information has enhanced healthcare in different parts ofthe world by bridging the gap between the theoretical and practicalknowledge. As such, EBP plays an important role in ensuring thatinformed decisions are made for the quality life of the patient.Advanced nursing practice requires the utilization of high levels ofexpertise and skills to discharge medical duties. On the other hand,EBP enhances the use of available current information that concerns aparticular medical issue. Therefore, using EBP would be beneficial inadvanced nursing practice since it would help the clinician to deriveample information in a bid to enhance patient care. Moreover, theunavailability of particular information would trigger a medicalpersonnel to conduct research concerning the topic hence, assistingin the advancement of knowledge. In a bid to derive the best care tothe patient and promote efficient medical practice, the clinician canintegrate the theoretical and practical knowledge derived fromresearch materials (Hoogeboom, Kittelson, Sluis, &amp Meeteren,2014). As such, EBP would have a positive impact on the advancednursing practice through transforming the safety and effectiveness ofdelivered services.

Drawbacksto EBP in Advanced Nursing Practice

Despitethe numerous benefits derived from the use of EBP in medicalpractice, the process also presents some drawbacks. To begin with,the overreliance on EBP can promote laziness among the medics wherebya clinician would use it to treat every situation (Croft,Malmivaara, &amp Tulder, 2011).If a practitioner adopts this methodology, their service deliverywould be paralyzed if they were confronted with a situation, whichdoes not have any published information. Consequently, an uninformeddecision may be derived hence, deteriorating service delivery.Moreover,the overdependence on EBP can prevent creativity such thatpractitioners would only rely on documented information and fail tocontribute their input to information that would be used in thefuture. On the other hand, the ideology that some of the EBP resultsare based on trial and error may distort the level of health careservice given due to their inaccuracy. Secondly, there would be the lack of documented informationregarding a particular scenario. EBP information is derived fromobservation and previous encounters with particular circumstances.The emergence of new illnesses may hinder the utilization of thismethod since most of them would be occurring for their first timethus, there would be no evidence to rely on when confronted by such asituation.


Inconclusion, EBP enhances service delivery to patients wherebyindividualized care of each person is possible. The process enablescost reduction of the care given to the patient since the referencedinformation is readily available other than if research was to beconducted when the patient visits the facility. What is more, ithelps bridge the gap between theoretical and practical knowledgethrough integrating expertise with best available clinical evidence.


Croft,P., Malmivaara, A., &amp van Tulder, M. (2011). The Pros and Cons ofEvidence-Based Medicine.&nbspSpine,&nbsp36(17),E1121-E1125. http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/brs.0b013e318223ae4c

Hoogeboom,T. J., Kittelson, A. J., van der Sluis, G., &amp van Meeteren, N. L.U. (2014). Evidence-based practice in physiotherapy: time to involvethe patient?&nbspPhysiotherapy,&nbsp100(4),363-364.

Levin,R., Fineout-Overholt, E., Melnyk, B., Barnes, M., &amp Vetter, M.(2011). Fostering Evidence-Based Practice to Improve Nurse and CostOutcomes in a Community Health Setting. NursingAdministration Quarterly,35(1),21-33. http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/naq.0b013e31820320ff