There is some variation between academics and practice-based health professionals in the definition of evidence-based practice. The Definitions of Evidence Based Practice Web page from University of Sheffield School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR) gives a number of the definitions commonly proposed and their sources. Similar terms found in the literature include "evidence-based health care," "evidence-based nursing," and "evidence-based medicine." The differences in definition appear to reflect different nuances of professional preoccupation and responsibility. However, there is much common ground among them in terms of an underlying philosophy of commitment to "integrating individual clinical expertise and the best external evidence" and a concurrent emphasis on the "integration of patient values into our clinical behavior" (Sackett et al. 1996, ¶ 1, 5). The idea of evidence–based practice thus conveys the idea of a rigorous and critical approach to the development and evaluation of clinical expertise while maintaining a strong commitment to patient-centeredness and humanistic values.
Sackett, D. L., W. M. C. Rosenberg, J. A. Muir Gray, R. B. Haynes, and W. S. Richardson. 1996. Evidence-based medicine: What it is and what it isn't. British Medical Journal 312:71-72. http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/full/312/7023/71 (accessed July 19, 2006).