Evidence vs Theory Base

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Evidence-based practice has gained particular salience in nursing and health care and is also applicable to social practice.(Photo: Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)
In theory, practice and theory are the same. In practice, they are not. Evidence-based practice has gained prominence over more theoretical approaches in several areas, particularly in the field of health care. Theory-guided and evidence-based practice share the common goal of making the right decision and finding the most effective solution for a perceived problem. However, they have some core philosophical differences.
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At its core, the divide between evidence-based practice and theory-guided practice can be traced back to an ancient divide often found in science and philosophy: That of rationalism versus empiricism. Extreme rationalists claim that our senses are limited and place all their trust in reason. In contrast, empiricists claim that sense experience is the source of all our concepts and knowledge. While their positions are not so extreme, theory-guided practice follows a rather rationalist approach, while evidence-based practice favor empirical knowledge.

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The movement for evidence-based practice gained momentum during the 1970s, when A.L. Cochrane drew attention to the lack of solid information about the effects of health care. A series of studies about the percentage of health care based on high-quality evidence concluded it ranged from 10% to 25%. The rest of the time, decisions were taken on the basis of the judgment of experts. In response, Cochrane emphasized the…...

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