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Medicine: Evidence-based practice

Guide to information resources and services for Medicine, including basic and clinical sciences.


Clinical practice guidelines are systematically developed statements based on clinical evidence that are designed to support the decision making process in patient care.

Effort is needed to identify independent sources of guidelines due to potential conflict of interest in industry funded guideline sources.

- Clinical practice guidelines portal (Australian)
- NHMRC guideline index (Australian)
- National Guideline Clearinghouse (US) site discontinued July 2018
- New Zealand Guidelines Group
- NICE clinical guidelines (UK)
- SIGN (Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network)
- MJA Clinical Guidelines (Medical Journal of Australia)
- ETG Complete - Therapeutic guidelines (Australian)
- Guideline Central (US)

Searching for evidence

Key resources for Evidence Based Practice

Evidence-based practice (EBP) is the process of making clinical decisions based upon research evidence, combined with clinical experience and patient preferences.  EBP is used in a variety of fields, including medicine, nursing and allied health.

Evidence Summaries (point of care tools, guidelines, textbooks)

Useful to find quality information in a short amount of time.

Summaries of systematic reviews and/or primary studies

  • Cochrane Clinical Answers
    Based on the evidence of Cochrane systematic reviews, this clinical support tool provides evidence-based answers when and where you need them most. Cochrane Clinical Answers focuses on important patient-centered outcomes, enabling you to apply the results of Cochrane reviews in practice.

Systematic reviews

Primary studies

Free Evidence Based Medicine resources

Levels of evidence

Certain types of evidence are considered stronger than others. 

See the hierarchy of evidence of study designs at the Duke University Medical Center Library website.

Some tables that demonstrate the different levels of evidence include:

Applying the evidence

Critically evaluate the evidence you find, and use it to support your clinical decisions, taking into account your clinical experience and patient preferences. The Centre for Evidence Based Medicine, Oxford, has critical appraisal checklists.

Key texts:

Biases that can be found in research

An awareness of different types of biases is essential to adequately assess the results of studies.

The Catalogue of Bias is a collaborative project mapping all the biases that affect health evidence.

Understanding Research Evidence - NCCMT Videos

Understand concepts such as Absolute Risk Reduction (ARR) and Relative Risk Reduction (RRR), Number Needed to Treat (NNT), Odds Ratio and much more with these quick and simple videos by the National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools.

Understanding Research Evidence (11 Videos)