Evidence-based medicine is an approach to medical practice intended to optimize decision-making by emphasizing the use of evidence from well-designed and well-conducted research.
Research comprises "creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of humans, culture and society, and the use of this stock of knowledge to devise new applications."
Evidence, broadly construed, is anything presented in support of an assertion.
This article deals with decision-making as analyzed in psychology.
Evidence Based Medicine with Jane and Billy-Joe by Roger Kerry
Although all medicine based on science has some degree of empirical support, EBM goes further, classifying evidence by its epistemologic strength and requiring that only the strongest types can yield strong recommendations; weaker types can yield only weak recommendations.
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe.
Evidence-Based Medicine in Practice #1 by cebmed
The term was originally used to describe an approach to teaching the practice of medicine and improving decisions by individual physicians about individual patients.
Use of the term rapidly expanded to include a previously described approach that emphasized the use of evidence in the design of guidelines and policies that apply to groups of patients and populations.
It has subsequently spread to describe an approach to decision-making that is used at virtually every level of health care as well as other fields.
Health care or healthcare is the maintenance or improvement of health via the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease, illness, injury, and other physical and mental impairments in human beings.
Whether applied to medical education, decisions about individuals, guidelines and policies applied to populations, or administration of health services in general, evidence-based medicine advocates that to the greatest extent possible, decisions and policies should be based on evidence, not just the beliefs of practitioners, experts, or administrators.
It thus tries to assure that a clinician's opinion, which may be limited by knowledge gaps or biases, is supplemented with all available knowledge from the scientific literature so that best practice can be determined and applied.
A best practice is a method or technique that has been generally accepted as superior to any alternatives because it produces results that are superior to those achieved by other means or because it has become a standard way of doing things, e.g., a standard way of complying with legal or ethical requirements.
A clinician is a health care professional that works as a primary care giver of a patient in a hospital, skilled nursing facility, clinic, or patient's home.
For a broader class of literature, see Academic literature.
It promotes the use of formal, explicit methods to analyze evidence and makes it available to decision makers.