Evidence-Based and Research-Based Practice in Healthcare

There are many ways to prove the safety or effectiveness of specific measures and approaches adopted in healthcare. When practitioners want to make sure that they use the best available practices, they may want to research the issue. There are two ways to do that, including evidence-based practice (EBP) and research-based practice. Since these are two various processes that both have their advantages, it is essential to distinguish between them.

First, it is essential to define evidence-based practice and its characteristics. According to Eisner (2022), EBP “is the process of collecting, processing, and implementing research findings to improve clinical practice, the work environment, or patient outcomes” (para. 1). To make informed patient-care choices, EBP finds the most compelling evidence and also compares existing and emerging clinical and professional practices (Eisner, 2022). Clinical research evidence is used for healthcare decision-making and determining whether the currently available interventions are the safest and most effective.

Further, one may state that research-based practice is also effective for clinicians, but it is an entirely different approach. As stated by Barnsteiner (1996), research-based practice “promotes the use of knowledge, access to current scientific knowledge, and the ability of the clinician to think critically about using the knowledge to positively affect patient outcomes” (p. 52). Overall, the main difference between these two approaches is that research-based practice uses various tools like questionnaires, interviews, and experiments to add to the existing knowledge (Barnsteiner, 1996). At the same time, the evidence-based practice focuses on the already existing research to find evidence of the effectiveness of specific approaches and aims to introduce relevant changes (American Career College, 2021). According to the American State University (2018), examples of EBP in primary care practice are oxygen use in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and noninvasive blood pressure measuring in children. An example of the research-based practice is the cases when clinicians face a new problem and need to gather enough information to propose solutions.


American Career College. (2021). What is research? Web.

American State University. (2018). 4 examples of evidence-based practice in nursing. Web.

Barnsteiner J. H. (1996). Research-based practice. Nursing Administration Quarterly, 20(4), 52–58.

Eisner, J. (2022). What is evidence-based practice? Adelphi University. Web.

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