PEPs - Clinical Quality and Evidence

Module 2 - Evidence


It is always important, in medicine and indeed, in life, to maintain a degree of scepticism. Accordingly, two articles are referenced where an additional view of this concept is taken ¹ ² .   The importance of these articles is that most research is done on relatively straightforward patients and yet we extrapolate into much more ill patients who may be elderly and be suffering from multiple co-morbidities. The good doctor integrates the evidence with the individual patient so that the correct treatment is tailored to the patient who, obviously, should be involved in all such decisions.

EBM recognises that many aspects of health care depend on individual factors such as quality- and value-of-life judgements, which are only partially subject to scientific methods. EBM, however, seeks to clarify those parts of medical practice that are in principle subject to scientific methods and to apply these methods to ensure the best prediction of outcomes in medical treatment, even as debate continues about which outcomes are desirable.

  1. Hampton, J. R. (2003) Guidelines-for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men? Clinical Medicine, (3) 3 279-284
  2. Sackett et al (1996) Evidence based medicine: what it is and what it isn’t. BMJ, 312, 71