Evidence Based Medicine Information

This tutorial will acquaint you with the concept of Evidence Based Medicine and help you to develop MEDLINE search strategies to locate reports of research in the medical literature which use evidence-based principles.

EBM Defined:

Here is how the Medical Subject Headings of the US National Library of Medicine currently define this concept:

Scope Note

Evidence based medicine is an approach to practicing medicine in which the clinician is aware of the evidence in support of clinical practice and the strength of that clinical evidence.

  • Health Information Research Unit: Evidence-Based Health Informatics, McMaster University

    Searching the medical literature for evidence based medicine citations provides the clinician with a tool to make health care decisions which are based on sound data developed from preplanned, comparative studies. EBM literature does not replace expert judgment or clinical experience, but can enhance judgment and experience.

    This tutorial will help you develop MEDLINE search strategies to access the small subset of the literature which reports research-based clinical studies. The volume of medical literature continues to grow exponentially. The EBM subset of literature reports on human research which evaluates the results of a particular therapy, the effectiveness of a diagnostic measure, the etiology of a disease process or the prognosis of a disease.

    To further understand EBM:

    • connect to MEDLINE
    • search for Evidence Based Medicine
    • scan the list of articles you retrieve
    • select one of the articles from the list you retrieve which has FULL TEXT available
    • read that article
    Note: Palmer, Lusher and Snowball's February 1997 article is particularly clear and comprehensive.