Evidence Levels

A: Randomized, controlled trials (RCTs); meta-analyses; well-designed, systematic reviews B: Case-control or cohort studies, retrospective studies, certain uncontrolled studies

C: Consensus statements, expert guidelines, usual practice, opinion

A glossary of EBM terms is provided in eAppendix 8-1 online at www.expertconsult.com.

The complete reference list is available online at www.expertconsult.com.

See also Table 8-5 fur2www.fpin.org

Family Physicians' Inquiries Network. www.ngc.gov

National Guideline Clearinghouse. www.mclibrary.duke.edu/subject/ebm?tab=appraising www.cche.net/usersguides/main.asp

Useful resources for critiquing articles using a structured approach.


Do not assume that statistical significance is the same as clinical significance.

Do not rely on pharmaceutical representatives or experts who may be biased in their presentation of information. Consider the potential harms and economic effects of an intervention.

Do not assume that results even from a well-done study are applicable to your population of patients.

Do not fail to use the many comprehensive sources of evidence-based information.


Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine (CEBM) taxonomy for levels of evidence.


The Strength of Recommendation Taxonomy, specifically tailored to family medicine.


Web Resources

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