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Bond Sees The Evidence-Based Medicine Through Oxford Don's Eyes

The number of medical practitioners joining the international groundswell of support for Evidence-based Medicine (EBM) is growing across the world.

Director of the Centre for Evidence-based Medicine (EBM) at Oxford University (UK), Professor Glasziou recently returned to Queensland to help spread the word about the practice, at a three day workshop hosted by Bond University’s new Faculty of Health Sciences and Medicine.

The aim of EBM is to assist medical practitioners integrate their own clinical expertise with the best available external clinical evidence. This allows them to consider the current best evidence when making decisions about individual patient care.

Prof Glasziou’s goal is to establish the Centre of Evidence-Based Medicine at Oxford as part of a network of EBM in every country.

“Evidence-Based Medicine has become powerful now. We are beginning to find Centres for EBM teaching spread throughout Europe and Asia.

“It has been around for about 12 years, and the support for the practice continues to grow amongst medical practitioners dissatisfied with traditional patient assessment methodology,” said Prof Glasziou.

Bond University’s Faculty of Health Sciences and Medicine Dean Professor Chris Del Mar, also an expert in EBM, said medical practitioners have to deal with vast amounts of information today, and much of it is often conflicting.

“Evidence-Based Medicine gives practitioners a way to clarify this and then decide how to best treat their patients,” he said.

“For instance there may be several contradictory research articles regarding the use of a certain drug and its patient application. Using EBM, a practitioner acquires the skills to sift through the research and find important facts like the strength of effect.

Hard evidence is essential for clinical decisions and to support best practise care of a patient. EBM teaches how to apply strict criteria for the quality and validity of research. Practising clinicians then assess the clinical relevance of the best study,” said Professor Del Mar.

The EBM workshop was attended by more than 30 doctors from around Australia, and final year medical students from as far afield as Indonesia and St Andrews in Scotland.

Another workshop is planned for 2006. Further enquiries can be directed to Professor Chris Del Mar, Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences and Medicine, on 07 5595 5499.

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