Asking “meaning questions” in evidence-based reviews and the utility of qualitative findings in practice

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Evidence-based practice (EBP) systematic reviews are mostly conducted using etiology, diagnosis, therapy, prevention, and prognosis question format. “Meaning” or qualitative questions are very rarely used. The purpose of this article is to discuss qualitative findings' contribution to EBP through asking “meaning questions” in conducting systematic reviews and the utilization of the results to practice. Two EBP systematic review exemplars using meaning questions including the relevance and utilization of qualitative findings in health care decision-making, practice, and policy are presented. There is a need to instill an evidence-based mindset into systematic reviews that balance scientific knowledge gained through empirical research and evidence from qualitative studies. This is turn will increase awareness among clinicians and decision makers on the different ways in which qualitative evidence can be used and applied in practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)288-294
Number of pages7
JournalDimensions of Critical Care Nursing
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Emergency
  • Critical Care


  • Evidence-based practice
  • Family conference/meeting
  • Meaning questions
  • Qualitative findings
  • Systematic reviews


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