VCU Libraries

Research Guides

Evidence-Based Practice Portfolio

The goal of this guide is to provide nurses a resource to understand and carryout the steps of performing an evidence-based practice (EBP) project.

Non-Research Evidence


Practice GuidelinesConsensus/Position Statements (Level IV)


AGREE Appraisal Instrument 

Six Sections:

  1. Scope and Purpose
  2. Stakeholder Involvement 
  3. Rigor of Development 
  4. Clarity of Presentation
  5. Applicability
  6. Editorial Independence 




  • Transparency
  • Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest
  • Membership of Guideline Development is Balanced
  • Use Systematic Review
  • Establish Evidence Foundations & Rate Strength of Recommendations
  • Recommendations Follow Standard Format
  • Include External Reviewers
  • Update Guidelines 







  • Author
    • What are the author's credentials and affiliations?
    • Is the publisher or journal known and reputable?
  • Publisher
    • Who is the publisher? Are they reputable? It is an academic press?
  • Accuracy
    • Does the author provide references to support his/her statements?
    • Is the source peer-reviewed? (Has the information been verified by other professionals or researchers in the field?)
  • Search / Methods 
    • Were the methods of inclusion or exclusion of articles provided?
    • Were the search methods provided? How complete is the search? 
    • Was a search strategy provided? 
  • Collective Expertise (More Than One Author)
    • Was the publication done by one individual or a group of experts?
  • Currency
    • How current does your information need to be?
    • What is the publication date?
    • Is the information outdated?
    • Is it a key historical piece of literature on your topic?
  • Coverage
    • Who is the audience: the general public, professionals, or researchers?
    • Is the information general or in-depth?
  • Point of View
    • Is the information balanced and without bias?
    • Does the author have a specific goal or objective? (For example: to persuade, to entertain, to inform?)


Quality Improvement Reports       (Level V)

  • Potential to Identify Future EBP Questions
  • Applicability regarding implementation must be based on the characteristics of the organization. 





 Standards for Quality Improvement Reporting Excellence (SQUIRE) 



Financial Evaluation (Level V)



  • Was the study population described?
  • Was the question being analyzed well defined?
  • Did the study define the time frame?
  • Were data sources for all costs reported?
  • Were data sources & costs appropriate with respect to the program and population being tested?
  • Was the primary outcome measure clearly specified?
  • Did outcomes include the effects or unintended outcomes of the program?
  • Was the analytic model reported in an explicit manner?
  • Were sensitivity analyses performed?






Case Report (Level V)





How to Review a Case Report 







  • Novelty
  • Patient consent
  • Ethical practice as per standard of care


  • Incorporates the core key message with necessary detail in a concise manner.


  • Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) keywords, core message included


  • Emphasizes need of publication by novelty of the case or the specific adverse event.

Case description

  • Appropriate details of the case, including demography, assessment, findings, investigations and so on.
  • Mentions intervention in detail or describes the dose, timing, and route of drugs.


  • Emphasizes why the case is important to medicine.
  • Adequate literature review pertinent to the case.
  • Mentions the limitations related to the case.



  •   The implication of case with a core key message.



  •  Reject/minor revision/major revision/accept as submitted


Community Standard (Level V)




Clinical Experience (Level V)