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Introduction to EBM: QMP Medical Statistics Tutorials

Posted on 24th April 2013 by

Learning Resources

Evidence-based medicine (EBM) can be defined as “integrating the best research evidence with clinical expertise and patient values to achieve the best possible patient management (Straus, 2005)”. But what does this statement really mean?

This tutorial, “Introduction to EBM”, will help you answer that. It is easy to understand, takes 15 minutes, and will hopefully dispel any misgivings you might have about EBM. Having “statistics” in the title might put some people off, but this first tutorial only focuses on basic EBM concepts. If you want to learn about the statistics involved in more detail then check out the other tutorials in the series as well, produced by the University of New South Wales. They all feature example questions and exercises to allow you to test your knowledge and understanding at the end of each section.

By the end of this tutorial, you should be able to:

  • explain the purpose of EBM
  • identify common study types in the medical literature
  • list the common types of clinical questions
  • discuss the most appropriate study types to answer different types of clinical questions
  • describe the structure of a journal article
  • make a critical review of a journal article identifying the main strengths and weaknesses
  • understand the process of applying the evidence in clinical practice

In addition to the tutorial (see the link below) there is a worksheet with some case studies and further exercises relating to the tutorial. It might be a little difficult to motivate yourself to work through it alone, but if you can find a friend to discuss each case with there’s a lot to learn from them!

EBM Tutorial

http://web.med.unsw.edu.au/QMP/QMPTut1_2012/IntroTut_Objectives.htm [1]

Tutorial Worksheet

QMP Foundations prac _Exercise Worksheet_08 [2]


[1] Thompson R, Bennett M, Loughman E. QMP Medical Statistics Tutorial: Tutorial 1: Introduction to EBM [Internet]. University of New South Wales, Australia; 2008 [cited 24 April 2013]. Available from: http://web.med.unsw.edu.au/QMP/QMPTut1_2012/IntroTut_Objectives.htm

[2] Thompson R, Bennett M, Loughman E. QMP Introduction to EBM Practical Worksheet [Download]. QMP Medical Statistics Tutorial: Tutorial 1: Introduction to EBM, University of New South Wales, Australia; 17 March 2008 [cited 24 April 2013]. Available from: QMP Foundations prac _Exercise Worksheet_08


Hugo Pedder

Hi, I'm Hugo. I finished my Neuroscience BSc at Edinburgh University last year and am now about to start a Medical Statistics MSc - nothing like learning a bit more about statistics to get your head around the grizzly methodological details! View more posts from Hugo

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