Evidence Based Medicine Series. Part 4. Why some good studies with clinically important results cannot be applied to our patients

  • NM Lai


One major misconception towards EBM practitioners is thatthey push to adopt all valid and clinically important evidencewithout having a second thought. Such assumptions stemfrom an incomplete understanding of the definition ofEBM.1,2 A crucial step in EBM is the assessment on whetherthe evidence fits our population and individual patients,hence whether adopting such evidence is possible orappropriate. Ignoring this step would in fact undo our hardwork in the preceding steps of EBM.

We have previously covered the assessment of internalvalidity and clinical importance. These aspects of criticalappraisal, although important, may be seen as tedious andtime-consuming by the busy clinicians.3,4 The good newsis that they may already have been done by others on ourbehalf. Many clinical studies are critically appraised soonafter they appear by people who are skilled in this area.Referring to those pre-appraised resources is one way tosave our work and reduce uncertainties on the value of aclinical study. However, certain steps in the practice of EBMrequire our own efforts at all times. These include askinganswerable, relevant clinical questions, as coveredpreviously, and deciding the applicability of the evidence,as we aim to cover here. (copied from article)


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How to Cite
LaiN. (2009). Evidence Based Medicine Series. Part 4. Why some good studies with clinically important results cannot be applied to our patients. Malaysian Family Physician, 4(2 & 3), 3. Retrieved from https://www.e-mfp.org/ojs3/index.php/MFP/article/view/179
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