The term ’evidence-based medicine’ was first used in a published journal in 1992, and was formally defined in 1996 by Sacket et al as ‘the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best evidence about the care of the individual patient.

Learning objectives

After reading this article, pharmacists should be able to:

  • Define evidence-based medicine (EBM)
  • Explain the different study designs and the level of evidence they generate
  • Explain the significance of probability (p) values, confidence intervals (CI), relative risk (RR), odds ratios (OR), hazard ratios (HR), and number-needed-to-treat (NNT)
  • Discuss the importance of EBM for healthcare professionals, particularly pharmacists.

Competencies (2016) addressed: 1.1, 1.4, 2.3, 2.4, 3.1, 3.2, 3.5, 5.3.

Accreditation code: CAP1904C

Case scenario

A young mother asks you if honey is an effective cough treatment for her child (age 6; weight 19 kg). The effectiveness of honey for cough is not included in the Australian Medicines Handbook or the Therapeutic Guidelines, but you want to provide an evidence-based answer.

Determine your answer by creating a PICOS and appraising the relevant studies.

Test your knowledge on this article’s assessment questions here to earn up to 2 Group 2 CPD credits.