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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 43-47

Evidence-Based medicine: What every clinician should know

Department of Medicine, Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
A Bappa
Department of Medicine, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, P.M.B. 3452, Kano
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Background: Evidence-based medicine (EBM) has been broadly defined as the use of the best available research evidence to guide clinical decision, taking into consideration personal experience and patient values. It is considered the standard of care in clinical practice. All clinicians should be familiar with the basic concepts and practice of EBM. Aim: The aim of this review is to give an overview of the basic principles and practice of EBM, highlight its limitations and suggest how to overcome them. Methods: We searched the PubMed and Cochrane database for English language articles on Evidence-based medicine. We also searched reference list of relevant articles as well as relevant textbooks on EBM. We reviewed these articles and summarized the basics of EBM in this review. The barriers to the practice of EBM especially in developing countries and how to overcome them were also highlighted. Results: There has been a rise in publications on EBM over the last two decades as evidenced by rising PubMed citations on this topic. It is now considered as fundamental to good clinical practice despite its limitations. The practice of EBM involves multiple stages but can be practiced by any clinician by simply resorting to clinical practice guidelines that are usually formulated based on the principles of EBM. Conclusions: Evidence-based medicine is one of the important principles of modern medicine. All clinicians should be con versant with the basic principles of EBM and inculcate it in their clinical practice.

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