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Rating the Level, Quality, and Strength of the Research Evidence

Jones, Katherine R. PhD, RN, FAAN

doi: 10.1097/NCQ.0b013e3181db8a44
Articles

Improving patient safety and quality requires more consistent application of best practices based on the strongest scientific evidence available. Although evidence-based practice initiatives are increasingly being implemented in healthcare settings, clinicians may not have had the necessary preparation to accurately determine the overall strength of evidence supporting specific practice change recommendations. A particular issue is lack of clarity in use of the terms level of evidence, quality of evidence, and strength of evidence. This article clarifies the important differences among these terms.

Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio.

Corresponding Author: Katherine R. Jones, PhD, RN, FAAN, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, 10900 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44106 (Katherine.jones@case.edu).

Accepted for publication: January 10, 2010

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.