DentalCare Logo

Evidence-based Decision Making: Introduction and Formulating Good Clinical Questions

Course Number: 311

Is Evidence-based Practice a New Term for an Old Concept?

The use of evidence in practice is not new. What is new is the nature of the clinical evidence itself in terms of the methods for gathering it [randomized controlled trials and other well-designed methods], the statistical tools for synthesizing and analyzing it [systematic reviews and meta-analysis], and the ways for accessing [electronic databases] and applying it [evidence-based decision-making and practice guidelines].5

In other words, evidence-based practice is not just a new term for an old concept and as a result of advances, practitioners need:

  1. more efficient and effective online searching skills to find relevant evidence, and

  2. critical appraisal skills to rapidly evaluate and sort out what is valid and useful, and what is not.

EBDM is the formalized process and structure for learning these skills with the purpose of closing the gap between what is known and what is practiced in order to improve patient care based on informed decision-making.