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Evidence-based Decision Making: Introduction and Formulating Good Clinical Questions

Course Number: 311

Principles of EBDM

Evidence-based decision-making is about solving clinical problems and involves two fundamental principles:5

  1. Evidence alone is never sufficient to make a clinical decision. As EBP has evolved, so has the realization that the evidence from clinical research is only one key component of the decision making process and does not tell a practitioner what to do.

  2. A hierarchy of evidence exists to guide clinical decision-making. EBDM is a structured process which incorporates a formal set of rules for interpreting the results of clinical research and places a lower value on authority or custom. In contrast to EBDM, traditional decision-making, relies more on intuition, unsystematic clinical experience and pathophysiologic rationale.