Evidence based medicine

Hippokratia 2005, 9(1):17-25

G Anogianakis, G Ilonidis
Physiology Dpt, Faculty of Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece


Evidence based medicine (EBM) is the integration of best research evidence with clinical expertise and patient values, for the best possible patient management. It is the explicit and judicious use of current best evidence in makin decisions about the treatment and care of individual patients. In practice, it means integrating the individual clinical skills of the doctor with the best available clinical evidence from systematic research. EBM is a “patient -centred” rather than “physician – centred” brand of medicine. It deals with clinical problems and questions that arise in the course of caring for individual patients. The practice of EBM is always triggered by a patient encounter which generates questions about the effects of therapy, the utility of diagnostic tests, the prognosis of disease or the etiology of a disorder. It always proceeds in five concrete steps that start from the construction of a clinical question; through the conduct the tracking down of the best evidence of outcomes that is presently available; onto the critical appraisal of the existing evidence and its application to the patient, ending with the physicians’ self-evaluation of their performance.