Wednesday, May 14, 2008

An Abstract for Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM): A Medical Librarian's Definition

An Abstract for Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM)

By: Farhad Shokraneh
B.Sc Student, Medical Library & Information Science Department
Paramedical Faculty
Tabriz University of Medical Sciences


Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM) is a method that uses best evidences in decision-making of clinical practice for certain patient in his/her special situation, regarding reliability and efficacy of evidences. EBM needs clinical skills, information retrieval expertise (i.e. PICO search strategy), appraisal and critical thinking, and applying findings to reduce risks and improve care processes.
So EBM users continue Evidence-Based Practice captured in 5A (Ask, Acquire, Appraise, Apply and Assess) to create a Critically Appraisal Topic (CAT) (2, 5). They use some tools like Journal Club in Appraise of quality (5). Other way of Quality control of evidences is to classify them in three or four Levels(1) to determine the Best Evidence. These levels ranked by the type of evident studies. For example Systematic review is base stone of EBM,(4) Randomized Control Trials (RCTs), Clinical Trials, etc. are other useful types.
Most famous pioneers of EBM are Avicenna in his book The Canon of Medicine in the 11th century(3,6) and A. Cochrane, D. Sackett, and G. Guyatt in the 20th century(1). Nowadays
some websites and databases like, Cochrane Library, TRIP Database, and made available EBM documents.


1. "Evidence-based medicine", From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Accessed 13 May 2008, online Available At: <>.
2. Booth, Andrew (2007),"Evidence in 'real time': the story of an international workshop", Health Information and Libraries Journal 24, p. 227-231.
3. D. Craig Brater and Walter J. Daly (2000), "Clinical pharmacology in the middle Ages: Principles that presage the 21st century", Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics 67 (5), p. 447-450 [449].
4. Kiley, Robert (2003), Medical Information on the Internet: A Guide for Health Professionals. New York: Elsevier (Churchill-Livingstone).
5. Pearce-Smith, Nicola (2006)" A journal club is an effective tool for assisting librarians in the practice of evidence-based librarianship: a case study". Health Information and Libraries Journal, 23(1), p 1-78.
6. Walter J. Daly and D. Craig Brater (2000), "Medieval contributions to the search for truth in clinical medicine", Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 43 (4), p. 530–540 [536].