Evidence Based
Components of EBM

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Ask the Clinical QuestionFind the Best EvidenceCritique the EvidenceApply the Evidence Evaluate the Performance

  1. Ask the Clinical Question.

    The clinical question should incorporate three elements:

    a. Patient Describe the patient as a member of a population in terms of age, sex, ethnic group.

    Describe the clinical problem in terms of the patient's disease or general health condition.

    b. Intervention The intervention may be any of the following:

    Clinical examination
    Differential diagnosis
    Diagnosis tests

    c. Expected Outcome Ask the following questions:

    What can I hope to accomplish?
    Have all clinically relevant options been considered?
    What could the intervention really affect?

  2. Find the Best Evidence.

    To find the best evidence, you need to follow these steps:

    a. Translate the clinical question into a usable search strategy.

    b. Select an appropriate database resource.

    c. Enter your search strategy according to the rules of the database you selected.

    d. Browse the records you located to identify those that you think are best.

  3. Critique the Evidence.

    Papers that are located must be evaluated according to a variety of criteria including:

    a. Is this evidence valid? Is it true, accurate, correct?

    b. Is this evidence important? Is it useful in clinical practice?

    The strategies to determine validity and importance vary according to the intervention you are considering--diagnosis, etiology, treatment, prevention, prognosis, or continuing education.

  4. Apply the Evidence.

    Integrate the evidence into your clinical practice.

  5. Evaluate the Performance.

    Since EBM is process-oriented, you will need to consider and evaluate your performance as you progress from Step One through Step Five. This section will suggest specific evaluation criteria to consider for each step.

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URL: http://library.umassmed.edu/EBM/components.html
Last Updated: November 18, 2003
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