In Evidence Based Medicine (EBM),
Doctors integrate the “best research evidence with clinical expertise and patient values”*
In other words, doctors “[make] a conscientious effort to base clinical decisions on research that is most likely to be free from bias, and using interventions most likely to improve how long or well patients live.”**
*Sackett, D., et al. (2000). Evidence-Based Medicine: How to Practice and Teach EBM, 2nd edition. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, p.1
** Mark H. Ebell, MD, MS, Professor, University of Georgia, Editor-in-Chief, Essential Evidence Plus.
The “best evidence” is partially determined by the study type:
This Vox article gives a great plain-language description of the various study types in health sciences ⇒
Want to learn to spot all the study designs?
This tutorial from the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine will help you:
You’ll often see the levels of evidence for evidence-based medicine represented as a hierarchical pyramid like this one:
This Hierarchy of Evidence Pyramid by Bradley A. Long [author] and Eliza Donne [graphic designer] is shared under a Creative Commons License, Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International.