Evidence-based medicine (EBM) is the combination of clinical expertise, patient preferences, and evidence-based research.
EBM commonly consists of five steps, which are often referred to as the "5 A's of EBM":
Construct an answerable question using the PICO framework or other clinically appropriate approach.
Convert your question to a search strategy and locate the best evidence.
Critically evaluate the evidence for reliability and validity.
Integrate the evidence with patient preferences and clinical experience.
Determine the effectiveness of the process for improving patient care and outcomes.
See also: University of Minnesota Libraries' Evidence-Based Practice: An Interactive Tutorial
The PICO Framework helps clinicians design an answerable question by breaking the clinical problem into searchable concepts:
P: patient or population
C: comparison or alternative treatment
O: outcome being measured
Example: For patients aged 65 years or older (P), how does the use of an influenza vaccine (I) influence the risk of developing pneumonia during the flu season (O)? [The comparison (C) is not receiving an influenza vaccine]
Keep the levels of evidence in mind as you identify appropriate resources and appraise the evidence:
EBM Pyramid and EBM Page Generator, copyright 2006 Trustees of Dartmouth College and Yale University. All Rights Reserved. Produced by Jan Glover, David Izzo, Karen Odato, and Lei Wang.