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The words Evidence Based Practice next to a scientist examining a specimen in a lab

What is Evidence Based Medicine?

Evidence Based Practice is the integration of clinical expertise, patient values and the best evidence into the decision making process for patient care.
Sackett, D.L., et al. (2000). Evidence-based medicine: How to practice and teach EBM (2nd ed.). Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone.

For more information, see this online tutorial from Duke University on the basics of EBM.

How do you know if a study is 'evidence based'?

Determining if study results are valid means you need to know how to 'critically appraise' it.

Critical appraisal is the systematic evaluation of clinical research papers in order to establish:

  1. Does this study address a clearly focused question?
  2. Did the study use valid methods to address this question?
  3. Are the valid results of this study important?
  4. Are these valid, important results applicable to my patient or population?

If the answer to any of these questions is “no”, you can save yourself the trouble of reading the rest of it.

The Centre for Evidence Based Medicine has some useful tools to help you with critical appraisal skills


Extract from:  Haffar, S. (2013). "How to search the medical literature on the net" [Online presentation]. Retrieved from

Contact your Health library

EBM resources

Tools and resources

EBM search engines

TRIP Database
Trip is a tool for you to find high-quality clinical research evidence.

Centre for Evidence Based Medicine (CEBM)
Provides free support and resources to doctors, clinicians, teachers and others interested in learning more about EBM.

Netting the Evidence
Customised Google search tool, searching a range of authoratative EBM search engines.

Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE)
DARE includes systematic reviews that evaluate the effects of health and social care interventions and the delivery and organisation of health and social care services. (1994-2015 - continued by NHS Signals)

NIHR (NHS) Signals 
NIHR Signals are timely summaries of the most important research that aim to cut through the noise and provide decision makers with the evidence they can use.