"Evidence-based" can either refer to a resource that provides recommendations to aid in medical decision making or it can refer to a scientific method by which research is assessed and evaluated. This guide will provide information on both.
The tradition definition of Evidence-Based Medicine provided by one of the originators of this process, D.L. Sackett, is that it is the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients. Source: Sackett DL: Evidence based medicine: what it is and what it isn't. British Medical Journal 13 Jan 1996; 312 (7023): 71-72.
Evidence-based resources are books, journals, practice guidelines, or electronic resources that provide evaluated summaries of research and grade the recommendations based on the quality of the research.
The graphic for the hierarchy of medical information located in the box to the right represents the quality level of the different sources of medical information. When looking for information, you should endeavor to obtain information at the highest level possible of the information pyramid. Each of these categories is explained further on its own page in this guide.
Please see the box at the left for further information regarding the Information Pyramid.