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Introduction to Evidence-Based Practice: Apply results to your patient

This tutorial is intended for any health care practitioner or student who needs a basic introduction to the principles of Evidence-Based Practice.

Apply the results to your patient

Apply the results to your patient


Were the study patients similar to my population of interest? 
Does your population match the study inclusion criteria?
If not, are there compelling reasons why the results should not apply to your population?

Were all clinically important outcomes considered? 
What were the primary and secondary endpoints studied?
Were surrogate endpoints used?

Are the likely treatment benefits worth the potential harm and costs?
What is the number needed to treat (NNT) to prevent one adverse outcome or produce one positive outcome?

Is the reduction of clinical endpoints worth the potential harms of the surgery or the cost of surgery? 

Mingrone and colleagues measured surrogate markers for clinical outcomes. 2 years seems sufficient to detect effects on glycemic control and diabetes remission. Given the progressive nature of type 2 diabetes, longer follow-up could help characterize with greater precision the extent to which these benefits are sustained over time. Further ascertainment of the nature and frequency of surgical complications associated with different procedures, surgical experience and volume levels, and patient characteristics would be helpful in decision making. Longer, larger multicenter studies measuring such patient-important outcomes as mortality, morbidity, end-organ damage, functional capacity, and quality of life are needed. The findings of Mingrone and colleagues add to the body of evidence favoring bariatric surgery but, alone, should not result in a rush to do more surgeries.  (ACP Journal Club. 2012 Jul 17;157:JC1-12.)

Take this information back to your patient and discuss the issues with him and help him decide on a plan of action.


the evidence
6. Evaluate your performance with this patient


Did you ask a relevant, well focused question? Do you have fast and reliable access to the necessary resources? Do you know how to use them efficiently? Did you find a pre-appraised article? If not, was it difficult to critically evaluate the article?

Guyatt, G. Rennie, D. Meade, MO, Cook, DJ.  Users' Guide to Medical Literature: A Manual for Evidence-Based Clinical Practice, 2nd Edition 2008.


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