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What is Evidence Based Medicine?

Evidence Based Medicine is...

Evidence based medicine is the conscientious, explicit, and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients. The practice of evidence based medicine means integrating individual clinical expertise with the best available external clinical evidence from systematic research."
--David L. Sackett et al, Evidence-based medicine: what it is and what it isn't, BMJ 1996;312:71-2

"Evidence-Based Medicine is a process of life-long, problem-based learning..."
--Jo Dorsch, Univ. Illinois at Chicago, UIC Library of the Health Sciences-Peoria

Five Steps in the EBM Process

  1. Define the question specifically
  2. Collect evidence to answer the question
  3. Critically appraise the evidence
  4. Integrate the evidence with the patient factors, then make and carry out the clinical decision
  5. Evaluate the process in order to improve for the future

---Ann McKibbon, PDQ; Evidence-Based Principles and Practice, St. Louis, B.C. Decker, 1999

Asking the Question

Factors in a well-phrased question include:

  • P - A particular patient
  • I - An intervention or exposure (It may be a therapy, a diagnostic test, a prognostic factor, etc)
  • C - Comparison interventions, if necessary
  • O - An outcome

Collecting the evidence

Databases for reports of studies
Filtering for Evidence Based Reports

Additional information about Evidence Based Medicine

Articles About EBM and EBM Methods
Books About Evidence Based Medicine

Last modified: Oct 02, 2018