Objective: This paper provides an overview of the state of evidence-based practice (EBP) in nursing and selected allied health professions and a synopsis of current trends in incorporating EBP into clinical education and practice in these fields. This overview is intended to better equip librarians with a general understanding of the fields and relevant information resources.
Included Professions: Professions are athletic training, audiology, health education and promotion, nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, physician assisting, respiratory care, and speech-language pathology.
Approach: Each section provides a description of a profession, highlighting changes that increase the importance of clinicians' access to and use of the profession's knowledgebase, and a review of each profession's efforts to support EBP. The paper concludes with a discussion of the librarian's role in providing EBP support to the profession.
Conclusions: EBP is in varying stages of growth among these fields. The evolution of EBP is evidenced by developments in preservice training, growth of the literature and resources, and increased research funding. Obstacles to EBP include competing job tasks, the need for additional training, and prevalent attitudes and behaviors toward research among practitioners. Librarians' skills in searching, organizing, and evaluating information can contribute to furthering the development of EBP in a given profession.