Evidence based medicine (EBM) consists of four separate processes.
Asking a clinical question
Locating the evidence
Appraising and synthesizing the evidence
Applying the evidence
Most people are familiar with the third step but not so familiar with the first two.
Well-designed clinical questions can help clarify in a clinicians mind exactly what information is being sought and also help with the search. This clinical question can be framed around the PICO format.
With a well-structured PICO information can then be located in a timely manner using the concept of Haynes's 5 S's and a range of websites including trial registers and meta-search engines.
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Competing interests None.
Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the Ethics committee approval was not obtained as this paper does not report the results of any research but was a review on conducting evidence based medicine commissioned by the journal.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.