The past winter was tougher than usual for evergreens, especially yews.  Brown needles will not recover and there is a good chance affected plants are dead.  It appears heavily pruned yews will be especially unlikely to recover as buds that may re-grow are those closest to the tips.

Why so much damage this year?  As the air warmed this late winter the ground was still too frozen for the evergreen plants to replace lost moisture.  We also had a colder than normal winter with heavy winds that dehydrated the evergreen foliage.  Another cause of browning is salt spray.  If your shrubs are mostly affected on the side facing a street or driveway, this is a likely cause.

Partially affected evergreens can be pruned back although regrowth will be slow.  Most yews will produce new growth in May and you may want to wait until late May or early June to decide on replacing them.