Evidence-based medicine

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Evidence-based medicine (EBM) or evidence-based practice (EBP) aims to apply the best available evidence gained from the scientific method to clinical decision making.[1] It seeks to assess the strength of evidence of the risks and benefits of treatments (including lack of treatment) and diagnostic tests.[2] Evidence quality can range from meta-analyses and systematic reviews of double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials at the top end, down to conventional wisdom at the bottom.

EBM/EBP recognizes that many aspects of health care depend on individual factors such as quality- and value-of-life judgments, which are only partially subject to scientific methods. EBP, however, seeks to clarify those parts of medical practice that are in principle subject to scientific methods and to apply these methods to ensure the best prediction of outcomes in medical treatment, even as debate continues about which outcomes are desirable.

Because this approach is used in allied related fields, including dentistry, nursing, and psychology, evidenced-based practice is a more encompassing term.

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