Basics. What is evidence based medicine?

Evidence based medicine – EBM – is a framework for thinking. It’s a process. It’s a method. It’s taking the most unbiased, patient-oriented, clinically relevant research, combining that with the wishes and opinions of the child/young person and family before you and integrating your own skills, expertise and resources to co-produce the most appropriate decision for them at that point in time.

It is transparent. It is explicit. If you ‘do’ EBM then though folk may disagree, they’ll be able to understand the thinking that they disagree with.

It is artistic. Without the ‘arts’ of communication, understanding, empathy and team working EBM may as well be a spreadsheet on an actuary’s hard drive. 

It is five steps of asking (questions), acquiring (information), appraising (those studies), applying them (with patients) and assessing the effects (on patients, or on your own knowledge and development).

EBM is simple and complex, easy and incredibly difficult. It should force us to look at the imprecision and uncertainties we work with and carry on anyway. The process should inspire us to care more and work better.

Who wouldn’t want to use the most unbiased, patient-oriented, clinically relevant research, combined with the wishes and opinions of the child/young person and family and integrated with your own skills, expertise and resources to co-produce the most appropriate decision for the patient?

– Archi

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