Evidence-based practice...what it means for parents - Play Nourish Thrive

Evidence-based practice...what it means for parents

Scenario 1️⃣: You see a provider (midwife, doctor, lactation consultant etc.) and disclose an issue that you or your bub are experiencing. The provider then tells you what you must do based on research, or that they have been practising for 20 yrs & this is what works for their other patients.


Scenario 2️⃣: You see a provider and disclose an issue that you or your bub are experiencing. The provider explains the latest research, and what they have observed through their clinical practice. They consider your circumstances and preferences, and then tailor their advice accordingly.

Who would you prefer to see?

What scenario do you think would lead to better outcomes? 🤔

The first scenario is what is often thought to be evidence-based practice. The provider knows the latest research and has vast clinical experience after all?! 🤷‍♀️

What is missing though is something critical to the success of the treatment or advice.


Your goals, and individual circumstances and preferences.

It is now well established in public health that treatment and advice, where possible, should be tailored to each individual.(1) Just like in Scenario 2. When providers adopt an evidence-based practice approach, patient care and outcomes improve.(2)

So, what is evidence-based practice exactly?

When providers use an evidence-based practice approach, they are tailoring their advice or treatment plan base on:
✅ Best available research
✅ Clinical expertise
✅ Patient’s goals, circumstances & preferences

🌿 So, what does this have to do with you as a parent?

I don’t write this post to trash providers, or to devalue their clinical expertise. Often providers would genuinely like to discuss your unique circumstances but are time poor or otherwise under pressure.

Instead, I write this post because I want you to have a better idea of what quality clinical care can look like for you or your bub. So next time you find yourself in Scenario 1, you might feel more empowered to speak up about what might or might not work for your family. Or be more motivated to seek out a second opinion if necessary 🔅

Have you found yourself in either scenario? What was your experience?

1. Baker et al. 2015. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
2. Black et al. 2015. Journal of Nursing Administration

What is often thought to be evidence-based practiceWhat evidence-based actually isEvidence-based practice is an approach to care which considers the individual goals, circumstances, and preferences of patients, alongside the best available research and clinical expertise. For parents, this means you are an active decision maker in the care that you or your baby receives
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