What do I need to think about when applying evidence to my setting?

What do I need to think about when applying evidence to my setting?

Applying evidence into practice

A component of appraising evidence involves assessing how generalisable this evidence is to other settings

Assessing this involves asking questions like:

If the evidence is found to be effective in one setting, would the same effects be found elsewhere?


Could the same change be implemented in another setting?

The next consideration is the practical transfer and application of the evidence to your setting and population of interest. Things to think about in relation to this are:

  • local health needs
  • size of population the intervention applies to
  • reduction of health inequalities
  • equitable care
  • patient choice
  • any other interventions that might be on offer

Evaluation of the cost of implementation also forms part of the picture.

A return on investment tool (ROI), using local data and costing estimates can be a useful means of understanding how likely it is that you will be able to implement an intervention that has been robustly shown to be as effective as elsewhere, in the same population and setting. NICE has information on this. Public health teams within local authorities can provide advice and health economist roles are being developed in some local areas (South Gloucestershire; Bristol).

Having found and appraised your evidence, and then applied it to your setting, it’s good practice to share it, step 5.

The Evaluation and Evidence toolkits go hand in hand. Using and generating evidence to inform decision making is vital to improving services and people’s lives.

About the toolkits