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Evidence-Based Medicine: Finding the Evidence

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


This guide provides information on how to search for evidence-based literature. If you can't find what you need, don't hesitate to contact me! I'm happy to help via phone, email or you can make an appointment to see me (see my profile on left hand of page).


The most common definiton of Evidence-Based Medicine is from Dr. David Sackett: "Evidence based medicine is the conscientious, explicit, and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients. The practice of evidence based medicine means integrating individual clinical expertise with the best available external clinical evidence from systematic research". (Sackett D, 1996)

"Evidence-based medicine (EBM) is the integration of best research evidence with clinical expertise and patient values." (CEBM, Toronto.

EBM Process

Viva la evidence

References & Links

References and Links

JAMAevidence.  Fundamental tools for teaching and understanding how to apply the medical literature to clinical decisions. Includes online version of the Users' Guide to the Medical Literature (2008) and The Rational Clinical Examination (2009).

Users' Guides to the Medical Literature: A Manual for Evidence-Based Clinical Practice, 2nd Edition Gordon Guyatt, Drummond Rennie, Maureen O. Meade, and Deborah J. Cook. 2008, ISBN: 978-0-07-159036-5

Sharon E Straus, W. Scott Richardson, Paul Glasziou and R. Brian Haynes. Evidence-based Medicine: How to Practice and Teach EBM. 3nd edition. Elsevier, 2005.  ISBN: 0-443-07444-5

Duke University Medical Center Library: Evidence-Based Practice.

NC Evidence-Based Medicine Education Center of Excellence.

University of Illinois at Chicago, Evidence Based Medicine: Finding the Best Clinical Literature.

Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine.

What is EBM?

Evidence-Based Medicine Working Group Evidence-Based Medicine: A New Approach to Teaching the Practice of Medicine. JAMA 1992 Nov 4;268(17):2420-5.

Sackett, D. Evidence-based Medicine - What it is and what it isn't. BMJ 1996; 312:71-72.

Well Built Clinical Question

Richardson WS, Wilson MC, Nishikawa J, Hayward RSA. The well-built clinical question: a key to evidence-based decisions. ACP Journal Club. Nov-Dec 1995;123;A12.

The Literature Search 

PDQ Evidence-Based Principles and Practice, 2nd Edition, by Ann McKibbon is not only an excellent introduction to EBP but also provides search strategies for doing a literature search using MEDLINE, CINAHL Database of Nursing and Allied Health Literature, PsycINFO, and EMBASE/Excerpta MEDICA. 

The FPIN Consortium has developed over the past ten years in response to a need to make evidence-based family medicine and clinical scholarship more accessible to family physicians in clinical practice. For more information see:

Evaluating the Evidence

These articles are from the first Users Guide series published in JAMA in 1994:

How to Use an Article About Therapy or Prevention

How to Use an Article About a Diagnostic Test

How to Use an Article About Prognosis

How to Use an Article About Harm

How to Use an Overview (Systematic Review)