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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