Available Until 8/11/2027

Evidence Based Practice: An Online Course


For more information or to schedule this course, please contact Deborah Lauseng <dlauseng@uic.edu>.

This fully asynchronous, self-paced online course addresses the first three steps of EBM: formulating a searchable clinical question, efficiently searching the literature, and critically appraising the literature.

Tools available to facilitate the EBM process will be introduced. These tools include PubMed Clinical Queries, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Practice Guidelines and other electronic resources available.

The course will provide an overview of levels of evidence, research design, and bias in publication. Librarians will have the opportunity to share his/her unique perspective and knowledge; Describe basic EBM concepts; Demonstrate the ability to search the literature for primary and secondary sources of best evidence; Define statistical concepts; and study designs used in therapy, diagnosis, etiology, and prognosis clinical research studies; Distinguish between a well-designed and poorly designed clinical research study.

It is essential for information professionals and librarians to have working understanding of evidence based practice. Unfortunately much of this learning is left to self-learning for on-the-job experience. This fully asynchronous, self-paced online course provides information professionals and librarians an opportunity to participate in formal CE training to build their EBP knowledge and experience (through assignments and activities) over a six-week period with no disruption to their current work schedule or need for travel.

In order to successfully do step 3 of the EBM process, critically appraise the literature, librarians need to more fully understand the questions to be asked of a study in terms of its validity and usefulness. Therefore, this class will also focus on the validity aspects of therapy and diagnosis articles, the majority of most critical questions. A focus will be placed on understanding epidemiological concepts fundamental to understanding the clinical literature including such terms as number needed to treat, absolute and relative risk reduction, power, likelihood ratio, confidence interval and intention to treat.

Learning Objectives

By the end of the class participants should be able to:

1) Discuss evidence based practice (EBP) and its importance for clinical decision making

2) Formulate a clinical question using the PICO format

3) Conduct an effective search of the literature, using advanced search strategies, in order to find the best primary and secondary sources of evidence

4) Apply appropriate criteria in appraising an article for validity and reliability 5) Produce a formal EBM analysis using the CAT (Critically Appraised Topic) format

6) Produce a formal EBM analysis using the CAT (Critically Appraised Topic) 7) Lead a group through the process of appraising a diagnostic, therapy, etiology, or prognosis article.


This is a self-paced asynchronous online course. Students will have have 6 weeks to complete the 21 contact hours. The course consists of recorded lectures, independent readings, assignments, and threaded discussions.

Course Units:

-Introduction to EBP
-PICO-Developing the Answerable Question
-Literature of Evidence; Search Strategies
-Evidence in PubMed and other EBP Databases
-Introduction to Appraisal, including Validity, Reliability
-Critically Appraised Topics (CATS)
-Systematic Reviews and Meta Analyses
-How to Appraise Diagnostic Articles
-How to Appraise Therapy Articles

MLA CE Credits: 21