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Evidence Based Medicine (EBM)

This guide is designed to walk you through the Evidence Based Medicine process: the elements of a well-formulated clinical question, types of studies, and the key critical appraisal questions that help determine the validity of evidence.

How to use this guide

This guide has been developed to help 4th year Flinders MD students with the topic MMED9404.

By the end of the guide, you should be able to answer the following questions:

  • Have I stated my question as a well-formulated clinical question? Do I have a PICO to work with?
  • Have I investigated the best sources of evidence for the type of question I am asking?
    Please note that Google Scholar is not considered a suitable resource for finding evidence.
  • Have a constructed my searches in each resource according to the rules of searching and of the specific resource itself?
  • Am I working with the correct hierarchy of evidence for my question type? Can I rank my findings according to this hierarchy?
  • Have I identified the appropriate critical appraisal tools to help me assess the quality of my chosen study/studies?
  • How would I communicate the evidence I've found with a patient and involve him/her in shared decision making? [1]

1. Hoffmann T, Bennett S, Del Mar C. Evidence-based practice across the health professions. 2nd ed. Sydney: Churchill Livingstone; 2013. 416 p.

Just for fun: a musical overview of the importance of EBM