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Evidence-based practice includes the integration of best available evidence, clinical expertise, and patient values and circumstances related to patient and client management, practice management, and health policy decision-making.

All three elements are equally important.

Best Available Evidence

Although evidence-based practice encompasses more than just applying the best available evidence, many of the concerns and barriers to using evidence-based practice revolve around finding and applying research. APTA helps PTs and PTAs discover and use evidence-based resources.

Clinician's Knowledge and Skills

The physical therapist and physical therapist assistant's knowledge and skills are a key part of the evidence-based process. This personal scope of practice consists of activities undertaken by an individual physical therapist that are situated within a physical therapist's unique body of knowledge where the individual is educated, trained, and competent to perform that activity. Using clinical decision-making and judgment is key.

Patient's Wants and Needs

The patient's wants and needs are a key part of evidence-based care. Incorporating a patient's cultural considerations, needs, and values is a necessary skill to provide best practice services.

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