Evidence-based thinking and why it matters

Views expressed may represent the views of the author and not necessarily those of CEBM as a group


How EBM helped me…at 3am

Let me set the scene. its 3 am and our little one awoke for a feed and had a good burp before he started expressing all the signs of being tired again and ready to go back into his cot….great! we thought as we were also quite tired…..but he didn’t settle.

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19 Dec 2013

Seeing is believing. Or is it?

Observation has been the principle of empirical scientific method since Aristotle, who viewed scientific inquiry as ‘…progression from observations to general principles and back to observations’.

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17 Dec 2013

Practice of EBHC – what to expect

Its a busy week, although you will definitely not just sit and listen to talks all day: all the sessions are interactive and we utilise group work sessions. Everyone brings their expertise and perspectives to the group, which always makes for interesting discussions.

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19 Nov 2013

Bias is good

How studying the history and philosophy of EBM helps

There were about 20,000 POWs in the camp, of whom a quarter were British. The diet was about 600 calories a day and we all had diarrhoea. In addition we had severe epidemics of typhoid, diphtheria, infections, jaundice, and sand-fly fever…

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12 Nov 2013

Why RCTs are like silver bullets

A common mantra in statistics is that ‘association is not causation’. However, in reality it is causation that we are really interested in when researching a phenomenon in Medicine.
Does A cause B? If I take X will I prevent Y?
These apparently innocuous questions have profound philosophical implications.

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29 Oct 2013

Those that can…teach (EBP)

My favourite EBP course of the year (every year!) For me, as a tutor, it is probably one of my favourite teaching roles throughout the academic year. The course began with an introduction from the CEBM director Professor Carl Heneghan. Carl reminded us, amongst many other things, of the simple steps in EBP: Ask, Acquire, Appraise, Apply, Assess.

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22 Oct 2013

A new generation of bias in EBM

In the EUROPA trial 12,218 patients were randomized to receive perindopril or placebo. 9.9% of the participants in the ‘placebo’ group died or had a heart attack, whereas only 8% in the experimental group died or had a heart attack: roughly a 2% absolute effect size. You would have to treat 50 patients with the drug to get one with a positive outcome.

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21 Oct 2013

Cutting my wisdom teeth

“A man begins cutting his teeth the first time he bites off more than he can chew” Herb Caen
This was very much my experience when teaching about ’Study Designs’ on day one of the Practice of Evidence Based Health Care. Active, enthusiastic and engaged audiences, in my opinion, always make for a better teaching (and hopefully learning) experience.

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15 Oct 2013