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Since the evidence-based practice has taken on movement status, everyone wants to be “evidence based.” Not surprisingly, there are fake, pseudo, and genuine claims of being evidence-based. It’s important to differentiate a source that simply uses the label for marketing (fake) purposes from one that has some elements required of an authentic source of evidence but is missing an appropriate degree of transparency (pseudo), or from one that is transparent and uses an exhaustive and critical approach to including information (authentic).
At the very least, here’s what to look for as you review an article or source:
Statement of the purpose, objective, or a specific question(s)
Method of the search, appraisal, inclusion criteria
Summary of recommendations (You may need to look for an overall methodology if the source is a compilation of various pieces of evidence. Look in the opening pages or description or another page in a Web source.)
A rating system with an explanation of the meaning of the ratings
Locate an article on a nursing-related topic you are interested in.
Include in your report the following information and answers to the following questions:
Have you ever questioned whether published information sources are authentic? Why or why not?
What criteria have you used to judge the quality of an information source?
What are the most important qualities that an information source must have for you to consider using it?
What are key challenges you have faced in finding authentic sources of information?
In the future, what qualities of information sources do you envision as being key to your clinical decision-making?