Evidence Based Medicine and Baking; surely a contender for 2014’s most obscure blog title.
For my first post, I’ve opted to tackle two “classics” which are essential for any half decent EBM baker to master. So, drum roll please, here is the levels of evidence represented via the medium of the sponge cake.
You can read more about what exactly the levels of evidence are here .
In my interpretation the pinnacle of the hierarchy – systematic reviews and meta-analysis – has become slightly distorted (the bit at the top). This isn’t an insightful critique of the limitations of review methodology – summing up evidence: one answer is not always enough, rather that this EBM baker had become slightly tired and emotional by the time this layer was being constructed! Whilst scoffing the cake, members of the CEBM team discussed if and where qualitative research fits into the hierarchy. As a mixed methods researcher, I was slightly appalled by one (nameless) colleague’s suggestion that it could be represented by the crumbs around the base of the cake. What do you think? Enough about EBM, onto the important stuff.
There are loads of sponge cake recipes around – most are variations of the basic 2oz butter: 2oz sugar: 2oz flour: 2 eggs formula – for an example click here.
These are my top tips to achieve a perfect sponge cake:
1. Ensure all your ingredients are at room temperature
2. Make sure you cream the butter and sugar together for at least 5 minutes
3. Finally fold the flour into the mix with a metal spoon.
“But hang on a minute!” I hear you mutter “On what levels of evidence are these recommendations made?” Unfortunately evidence based bakery is yet to take off – now that would be a yummy series of RCTs to do – so you’ll just have to take my word for it…. Here is what the levels of evidence actually look like from a talk, feel free to use the recipe and the cake image in your next talk, it’s definitely yummier and more likely to engage an audience (levels of evidence ppt)