Evaluating evidence

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Evidence can be defined in the broadest sense as “… any empirical observation, whether systematically collected or not” [1]. Clinical evidence can include everything from the unsystematic observations of the individual clinician, physiologic experiments in animal models or the systematic observation of clinical events. Due to this wide variety of sources, it is of varying quality and applicability. How confident are we in the stated results? How accurate are the estimates of effect? Can the results be generalized to my patient? Evidence based decisions require not only the identification of all relevant evidence for a specified outcome but a systematic evaluation of the evidence such that best available evidence is used to support good clinical decisions




Evaluating evidence. (2005, January). Health Affairs. https://doi.org/10.1377/hlthaff.24.1.79

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