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Evidence-Based Medicine

Tools and resources on evidence-based medicine

What is evidence-based medicine?


ACP J Club. 2002 Mar-Apr;136:A11.doi:10.7326/ACPJC-2002-136-2-A11                                       



"The conscientious, explicit and judicious application of current best evidence to the care of individual patients." 

[Sackett DL, Rosenberg WMC, Gray MJA, et al. Evidence-based medicine: what it is and what it isn't.  BMJ. 312:71-72 (1996)]


Guyatt GH, Haynes RB, Jaeschke RZ, et al. Users' Guides to the Medical Literature: XXV. Evidence-based medicine: principles for applying the Users' Guides to patient care. Evidence-Based Medicine Working Group. JAMA. 2000;284(10):1290-1296.

Evidence-based medicine is used to

  1. Solve clinical problems. 
  2. Integrate evidence from published research into patient care. 
  3. Develop focused clinical questions concerning the patient’s problem. 
  4. Search secondary databases and the primary literature for relevant articles. 
  5. Judge the relevance to the individual patient. 
  6. Apply the results in clinical practice to each patient encountered.
  7. Process of life-long, problem-based learning.

Steps in the EBM Process

1. The Patient Start with the patient – a clinical problem/question arises out of the care of the patient (use Clinical Question Worksheet/ PICO model)
2. The Question Construct a relevant, answerable question derived from the case (use Clinical Question Worksheet/PICO model)
3. The Resource Select the appropriate resource(s) and conduct a search
4. The Evaluation Appraise the evidence for its validity (closeness to the truth) and applicability (usefulness in clinical practice)(use Critical Review Form For Therapy Study worksheet)
5. The Patient Return to the patient – integrate that evidence with clinical expertise, patient preferences, and apply it to practice
6. The Self-Evaluation Evaluate your performance with this patient


EBM Cycle, The 5 A's