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Evidence-Based Medicine: Finding the Evidence

A guide to evidence-based medicine resources in UVic Libraries.

Type of Question

Type of Question

Two additional elements of the well-built clinical question are the type of question and the type of study. This information can be helpful in focusing the question and determining the most appropriate type of evidence or study.

The type of question is important and can help lead you to the best study design:

Most common type of questions: Type of study:
Diagnosis
how to select and interpret diagnostic tests
prospective, blind comparison to a gold standard or cross-sectional
Therapy
how to select treatments that do more good than harm and that are worth the efforts and costs of using them
randomized controlled trial > cohort study
Prognosis
how to estimate the patient’s likely clinical course over time (based on factors other than the intervention) and anticipate likely complications of disease
cohort study > case control > case series
Harm/Etiology
how to identify causes for disease (including iatrogenic forms)
cohort > case control > case series