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Evidence-Based Practice: Impact on Patient Outcomes


In the context of contemporary approaches to patient outcomes, there are a number of frameworks that support traditional and evidence-based practices. Evidence-based health care is often opposed to the sometimes practices inherent in the daily work of medical practitioners. It is also important to point out the fact that often evidence-based practices come from the extensive research of a particular medical problem and numerous studies rather than a single case study.

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In such a way, the objective of this paper is to analyze how the incorporation of the evidence-based practice is perceived in different academic perspectives in relation to the traditional approaches, as well as to estimate how those two sets of approaches differ in terms of patient outcomes.

Evidence-Based Practice and Its Impact on Patient Outcomes

A number of scholarly frameworks attempt to explain how the newly emerged evidence-based practices can gradually become traditional and be accepted by the practitioners. In such a way, Rycroft-Malone (2004) supports the idea that evidence-based practice is incorporated gradually, firstly, “in the form of guidelines followed by an education or a teaching package, would lead to an expectation that practitioners would automatically integrate it into their everyday practice” (p. 297).

In other words, after a certain while, the medical practitioners start to perceive evidence-based practices as traditional as if particular procedures or ways of health care had always existed in their current form. For that reason, Rycroft-Malone (2004) underlines that the distinction between the’ traditional’ or conventional medical practices and those evidence-based practices that can be considered as newly emerged is slightly less obvious than it was originally thought.

However, on the other hand, Grol and Wensing (2004) emphasize “the crucial importance of acquiring a good understanding of the problem, the target group, its setting and the obstacles to change in order to develop more effective strategies for change” (p. 57). In other words, whereas the first perspective views the implementation of the evidence-based practices as something that happens naturally gradually, according to Grol and Wensing (2004), the incorporation of a new evidence-based practice is a process of change that can unpredictably affect various elements of the health care system, if it is not conducted with enough care and consideration for various aspects (p. 58).

In such a way, it is important to review the consequences of evidence-based practice’s implementation not only in relation to the adherence among the medical practitioners but also in terms of patient outcomes. Grol and Wensing (2004) focus their attention on “low expectancy of favorable outcomes, inertia/lack of motivation, and perceived external barriers beyond the control of individuals” in cases when evidence-based practices are implemented by the individual practitioners (p. 57). In other words, the new approaches do not enhance the psychological perception among the patients, according to this perspective.

On the other hand, Rycroft-Malone (2004) is inclined to believe that patient outcomes are different in dependence of the initial perceptiveness of the individuals, in particular, “more tangible outcomes tend to be those that are more receptive to change” (p. 299). Such suggestion means that evidence-based practice could give much better results if the perceptiveness is increased by means of enhancing the awareness of the new practices.

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Statistics of the Approaches in Terms of Patient Outcomes

Unlike holistic approaches, traditional practice does not apply any facilitators to the process of health care. Statistically speaking, Rycroft-Malone (2004) suggests that the majority of patients experienced 50% better outcomes with evidence-based practice in terms of clinical experience and facilitation (p. 301).

PICOT Question in the Framework of the Case Study

In evidence-based practice, it is important to include, the population characteristics and patient problem, planned interventions, comparative analysis, outcomes and time required. Since both articles include the evidence of diabetes treatment, it will be discussed in the case study.

Thus, the case study concerns a patient who is an elderly Caucasian woman, who with the symptoms such as sudden weight loss and excessive thirst and urination. It can indicate II type diabetes. Planned interventions should include oral glucose tolerance test. Grol and Wensing (2004) emphasize the fact that among the patients with diabetes “at least 30%–40% of the U.S. patients do not receive care according to current scientific evidence”, and “20% or more of the care provided is not needed or potentially harmful to patients”, which is why it necessary to change the mechanisms (p. 58). Alternatively, it is important to focus on holistic treatment as an addition to standard procedures. The desired outcome is minimizing the effects of the symptoms, and the first effects can be achieved with regular treatment within a month.


Overall, in the search for the two articles concerning the evidence-based practices and the changes in their application, it was important to identify the articles that represent slightly different scientific frameworks but primarily align in terms of the importance of patient outcomes, as well as provide statistical evidence alongside the sound opinion on the question of traditional and evidence-based practices.


Grol, R., & Wensing, M. (2004). What drives change? Barriers to and incentives for achieving evidence-based practice. Medical Journal of Australia, 180(6), pp. 57-60.

Rycroft-Malone, J. (2004). The PARIHS Framework — A Framework for Guiding the Implementation of Evidence‐based Practice. Journal of Nursing Care Quality, 19(4), 297-304.

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