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UCQ

Evidence-based Practice

Answer basic questions to improve your practice.

6S Hierarchy of Evidence

EPB proposes that clinicians use the "best evidence available" in clinical decision making. So, what is best evidence? The 6S Hierarchy of Evidence is a model that categorizes evidence to help guide clinicians in finding the highest quality research available to use in clinical decision making. 

How does the 6S Hierarchy work?

  • The highest quality evidence is found at the top of the pyramid. It is recommended that searching for evidence begin at the top (or the highest possible level) of the pyramid. 
  • Secondary pre-appraised evidence refers to research studies that have been critically appraised by experts. Work down the pyramid through the different levels of secondary pre-appraised research.
  • Each level of the pyramid draws on research evidence from the lower levels. 
  • Primary original research or individual studies make up the majority of research evidence available. Evidence at this level is pre-appraised and should be the last stop in the search for evidence.

Image credit: http://www.ciap.health.nsw.gov.au/education/learning/module4/section_3_3.html