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Policy, practice, and politics

21 Apr, 16 | by BMJ Clinical Evidence

Van photoBy Van Charles Lansingh

In the advent of the Zika scare, it is clear that the need for evidence and sensationalism are difficult to balance, and due to the pressure from the media, many governments and various entities, responded in haste and with probably very little time to analyze their recommendations. A similar case was seen in the wake of the Ebola outbreak. The global community has seen and experienced the consequences: fear and confusion of managing and controlling a disease that has limited evidence and knowledge base, and lack of historical antecedents to support the actions taken.

However, we often do have the evidence more or less readily available to respond to the health information needs and to the requests from policy makers. Unfortunately, more often than not, this information is too complex and difficult to determine what is correct and what is simply popular belief. The plethora of publications makes it difficult to sift through and summarize, so that there is an adequate process of translation from evidence generated by researchers, to policy and practice. more…

GATE – a Graphic Appraisal Tool for Epidemiological studies

12 Nov, 15 | by BMJ Clinical Evidence

Rod Jackson head shotBy Rod Jackson

The Graphic Appraisal Tool for Epidemiological studies (GATE) is a simple, easily remembered toolkit to help you critically appraise epidemiological studies that includes one picture, two equations and three acronyms. GATE uses a picture of a triangle, circle, square and two arrows to represent the generic structure of epidemiological studies. We call this picture ‘the GATE frame.’ All common epidemiological study designs, from randomised controlled trials to case-control studies, can be illustrated using a GATE frame. While the GATE approach to critical appraisal covers the same ground as other critical appraisal guides, its point of difference is its generic graphic framework that emphasises the similarities between all study designs. With GATE, your goal is to ‘hang’ a study on the GATE frame as follows: more…

Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing in 2015: The Challenges

30 Apr, 15 | by BMJ Clinical Evidence

Alison Twycrossby Alison Twycross

I have been editor of Evidence-Based Nursing for the past five years.

Earlier this month I presented a paper at Evidence Live 2015 reflecting on my views about the challenges for evidence-based nursing in 2015. This Blog is a summary of that paper. more…

How much health evidence is there in the world?

2 Apr, 15 | by BMJ Clinical Evidence

by Gabriel Rada

Picture Gabriel Rada
Thirty five years ago, Archie Cochrane reproached the medical profession for not having managed to organise a “critical summary, by specialty or subspecialty, adapted periodically, of all relevant randomised controlled trials”.
Systematic reviews were invented to deal with this problem, thus enabling what we call evidence based medicine, and their number has being steadily growing. more…

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