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Psychology: Evidence-Based Practice

A research guide for finding Psychology resources in the BC3 Library and on the Internet, complied by the BC3 Librarians.

What is Evidence-Based Practice?

As defined by Levin (2006), "evidence-based practice (EBP) is a framework for clinical practice that incorporates the best EBP diagramavailable scientific evidence with the expertise of the clinician and the patient's preferences and values to make decisions about health care." This definition has been expanded upon in recent years and is described by Melynyk and Fineout-Overholt (2011) as a "life-long learning approach to clinical practice that integrates

  • A systematic search for as well as critical appraisal and synthesis of the most relevant and best research (i.e. external evidence)
  • One's own clinical expertise, which includes internal evidence generated from outcomes management or quality improvement projects, a thorough patient assessment, and evaluation and use of available resources (i.e. internal evidence)
  • Patient preferences and values"

Six steps of Evidence-Based Practice

  1. Ask a clinical question in PICOT format
  2. Collect the best, most relevant evidence
  3. Critique the evidence
  4. Integrate the evidence 
  5. Evaluate the practice decision 
  6. Share the outcomes

Databases for Physical Therapy Topics

Google Scholar Search

Google Scholar includes both books and articles. Be careful when selecting that the source is reputable. If an article is not made freely available online, remember that you can use the BC3 Library's Request an Article service to request it and we will do our best to obtain it and email it to you - free of charge.

PubMed Worksheet

PubMed Searches

The Basics: Simple Searching & Viewing Results

For a basic keyword search, type the word or words you are looking for into the search box, and click Search. PubMed will suggest phrases that complete your entry or that are related to the words you're entering.  The next page will show your search results.

Setting Filters (aka Limits)

Use the filters on the left sidebar to narrow down your results by specifying different categories such as language, type of article, age, gender, etc.  

Changing the Display Settings

Click the Display Options button at the top right side of the page to change the format option for each citation (Summary, Abstract, PubMed or PMID) the sort order and the number of results per page. Use the Show snippets check box to turn text snippets off/on in the results page.

Use My NCBI to permanently set your display settings via your personal log-in.  Learn more about My NCBI here.

Look for the icon or another "free full text" icon in the top right of the abstract page, and click the icon to access the full article text.

Saving, Printing, and Emailing Search Results

At the top of the search results page you will see a series of buttons labeled Save, Email and Send to.

Use the Save option to save a text file of your results.

Use the Email option to email results.

Use the Send to option to save results to:

  • Clipboard- a temporary (8 hours) place to store articles of interest. When you have items in your clipboard a "clipboard" link will appear under the search box. Click that link to access items on your clipboard.
  • My Bibliography - a place to store and organize citations to your publications. 
  • Collections - save references of interest permanently to your My NCBI Account. (You must create a FREE My NCBI account to use this option. 
  • Citation Manager- use this option to export citations for use with citation management tools (EndNote, Zotero).


To print your citations, select Print from your Internet's browser window. 

To remove an item from the Clipboard, click the Remove from Clipboard link below the citation.