Introduction to Evidence-Based Medicine

  • Kameshwar Prasad


The term evidence-based medicine first appeared in 1990 in the information brochure for McMaster University Internal Medicine Residency Program. However, the work which led to its origin may be traced back to late 1970s, when Prof. David Sackett, the then Chairman of the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics McMaster University, Canada, published a series of articles in the Canadian Medical Association Journal beginning in 1981. The series was named ‘The Readers’ Guide to Medical Literature’. The series had one article devoted to each of the paper on diagnosis, treatment, prognosis, etc. The articles provided guides to critical appraisal of the various types of clinical papers. Internet did not exit at that time and information technology was in infancy. Not surprisingly, the series did not contain any section on ‘how to search for relevant papers’.


Ischaemic Stroke Acute Myocardial Infarction Rheumatic Heart Disease Magnesium Sulphate Canadian Medical Association Journal 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. 1.
    Guyatt GH, Rennie D. Users’ guides to the medical literature (editorial). JAMA. 1993;270:2096–7.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Haynes RB, Mukherjee J, Sackett DL, et al. Functional status changes following medical or surgical treatment for cerebral ischemia: results in the EC/IC Bypass Study. JAMA. 1987;257:2043–6.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Duley L, Hnderson-Smart D. Magnesium sulphate versus diazepam for eclampsia (cochrane review). In: The cochrane library, Issue 2. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.; 2004.Google Scholar
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    Lau J, Antman EM, Jimenez-Silva J, Kupelnick B, Mosteller F, Chalmers TC. Cumulative meta-analysis of therapeutic trials for myocardial infarction. N Engl J Med. 1992;327(4):248–54.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Anderson GL, Limacher M, Assaf AR, Bassford T, Beresford SA, Women’s Health Initiative Steering Committee, et al. Effects of conjugated equine estrogen in postmenopausal women with hysterectomy: the Women’s Health Initiative randomised controlled trial. JAMA. 2004;291(14):1701–12.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Further Reading

  1. Guyatt G, Rennie D, Editors. User’s guides to the medical literature: a manual for evidence-based clinical practice. Chicago: AMA Press; 2002. ( Scholar
  2. Guyatt GH, DiCenso A, Farewell V, Willan A, Griffith L. Randomized trials versus observational studies in adolescent pregnancy prevention. J Clin Epidemiol. 2000;53:167–74.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Haynes RB, Sackett RB, Gray JMA, Cook DC, Guyatt GH. Transferring evidence from research into practice, 1. The role of clinical care research evidence in clinical decisions. ACP J Club. 1996;125:A14–5.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Muir Gray FA, Haynes RB, Sackett DL, Cook DJ, Guyatt GH. Transferring evidence from research into practice, III. Developing evidence-based clinical policy. ACP J Club. 1997;126:A14.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Oxman AD, Sackett DL, Guyatt GH, for the Evidence-based Medicine Working Group. Users’ guides to the medical literature, I: how to get started. JAMA. 1993;270:2093–5.Google Scholar
  6. Richardson WS, Wilson MC, Nishikawa J, Hayward RSA. The well-built clinical question: a key to evidence-based decisions. ACP J Club. 1995;123:A-12.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer India 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kameshwar Prasad
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Neurology Neurosciences Centre, and Clinical Epidemiology UnitAll India Institute of Medical SciencesNew Delhi DelhiIndia

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