Evidence Based Medicine

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What is Evidence Based Medicine?

Evidence Based Medicine (EBM) is “the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of the individual patient. It means integrating individual clinical expertise with the best available external clinical evidence from systematic research.” Sackett D, 1996 BMJ 1996; 312: 71-72 (13 January).

The goal of EBM is best patient care

“As a distinctive approach to patient care, EBM involves two fundamental principles. First, evidence alone is never sufficient to make a clinical decision. Decision makers must always trade the benefits and risks, inconvenience, and costs associated with alternative management strategies, and in doing so consider the patient’s values. Second, EBM posits a hierarchy of evidence to guide clinical decision making.” Read the complete text of JAMA’s User’s Guides to the Medical Literature. [UAMS credentials needed for access.]


EBM is a cycle and a process

Learn how to practice the EBM process

This self-paced tutorial guides health care practitioners or students through basic steps in the EBM process: UNC Introduction to Evidence-Based Medicine Tutorial.

Upon completion of this self-paced tutorial, you will be able to:

  • define Evidence-Based Practice (EBP)
  • identify the parts of a well-built clinical question
  • identify searching strategies that could improve PubMed searching
  • identify key critical appraisal issues that help determine the validity of a study

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