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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM)

Start with Secondary Literature

•Syntheses, Synopses, Summaries
•Saves time (critical appraisal should be explicit)
•Provides concise summary/bottom line
•Indication of level/rigor of evidence
•Look for Evidence Summaries in Clinical Tools
•Look for Systematic Reviews
 

If secondary literature is inadequate, conflicting, or questions remain, search the primary literature for additional evidence

Question informs type of study to look for in Primary Literature

Therapy  - RCT | Cohort Study | Case Control Study | Case Series

Diagnosis  - Prospective Study - blind comparison to a gold standard | Cross-Sectional Study

Etiology/Harm - RCT | Cohort Study | Case Control Study |  Case Series

Prognosis - Cohort Study | Case Control Study | Case Series

Prevention - RCT | Cohort Study | Case Control Study | Case Series