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Evidence Based Practice Tutorial

Step 4: Integrate

Integrating the research evidence with experiential evidence and stakeholder needs

  • After you've collected enough research articles to support the need for your intervention, there's still one more crucial step to do before you can implement and begin to evaluate the efficacy of your EBP process: integrating the research with stakeholder experiences, needs, and wants.
  • Since you most likely had to generalize your population to get relevant research studies during steps 1 and 2, this is your opportunity to get more specific with your population and see exactly how your EBP research could benefit them - or if they're even interested in adopting your intervention.

Who are stakeholders?

  • Although the evidence may support whatever your chosen intervention is, there's no guarantee that your community, institution, hospital, business, etc. will support it. Before you go to the work of creating a plan to implement an intervention, you must take the concerns of these stakeholders into account.
    • Scenario 1: you'd like to start a lunchtime meal program in a low-income neighborhood and can find plenty of evidence to support this intervention, but when you look at social media for activists in that community, you realize that the community is majority Muslim and your program won't be attended well during Ramadan, an entire month of the year. Changing the time of your meal program to suit the members of the community is going to be best in this case, even if the evidence you collected indicates that lunch programs are more effective than dinner programs.
    • Scenario 2: you're a nurse at a hospital with a great idea for an intervention, but the intervention is too costly and the hospital board denies your funding request. You must now either abandon your intervention or try to secure funding for a lower-cost version of it, despite what the evidence indicates is most effective.

How can I integrate stakeholder experiences and needs in my research?

  • This is a great opportunity to use so-called "popular" sources like social media, news articles, websites, or internal documents from your workplace or workplaces similar to it.
  • These sources are supplementary (and in addition) to your "scholarly" sources unless your instructor or supervisor specifies that they're fine with you using popular sources, but the practice you'll get incorporating other perspectives will help you tremendously in preparing for a career after graduation, whatever your career may be!

What comes next?

  • Once you've settled on an intervention based on both the research evidence and the needs of your stakeholders, you can work on implementing your intervention. This is going to look vastly different in different fields and even within the same field depending on the workplace, so it's best to figure out implementation on a case-to-case basis rather than putting recommendations in a guide like this. Reach out to your institution, administrators, or other relevant people if you have questions about how to implement something new in your workplace.