1. Is the evidence relevant to your practice?

Once you’ve appraised the evidence you’ve found, you need to determine how relevant and applicable the findings are in terms of your own service setting. This process requires that a number of questions be considered in relation to the evidence you have found and to your own knowledge and practice experience.

Questions that you will want to consider include:

1. Does the group that the evidence comes from differ from your service users in ways that might give different results?

2. Does your local setting differ from the setting in the evidence?

3. Could you provide the same service or intervention in your setting?

Answering these questions relies on the expertise and practice knowledge built up through experience in the field. It is important to remember that the use of formal research in decision-making is only one type of evidence. It is not intended to replace ‘practice wisdom’, but rather to complement it and build on it. Your professional expertise is crucial in putting the evidence into context. Additionally, it is worth giving some thought to how your own ‘practice wisdom’ can be explicitly articulated so that others can learn from it.