Skip to Main Content

Evidence-based dental practice: searching the literature and writing a report

This guide will help you search and assess literature to support dental research questions.

How to Structure an Evidence-based Report

How to Structure an Evidence-based Report:
An evidence-based report is structured in sections that do the following:

  • Introduction (also called Background or Problem): describe the problem and its importance (prevalence, severity, cost implications, impact on function, aesthetics, etc.).
  • Aim: state the question(s) to be answered in a format that can be searched. Hypotheses are sometimes also included.
  • Methods: describe the search strategy used to collect the evidence; describe the criteria used to include or exclude evidence.
  • Results: state the yield of the search strategy(ies); show numbers of papers rejected at each stage (title, abstract, full copy); show final numbers of studies included and critical appraisal score(s); an evidence table is often included;
  • Discussion: critically analyse the findings; the main argument is presented here;
  • Conclusions: draw conclusions from your analysis of the literature and draw an overall conclusion about the quality of the evidence; state the “best” answer to the question(s).