Evidence-based medicine as Bayesian decision-making

Stat Med. 2000 Dec 15;19(23):3291-305. doi: 10.1002/1097-0258(20001215)19:23<3291::aid-sim627>3.0.co;2-t.


We review two recent trends: the emergence of evidence-based medicine and the growing use of Bayesian statistics in medical applications. Evidence-based medicine requires an integrated assessment of the available evidence, and associated uncertainty, but there is also an emphasis on decision-making, for individual patients, or at other points in the health-care system. This demands consideration of the values and costs associated with potential outcomes. We argue that the natural statistical framework for evidence-based medicine is a Bayesian approach to decision-making that incorporates an integrated summary of the available evidence and associated uncertainty with assessment of utilities. We outline a practical agenda for further development.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bayes Theorem*
  • Decision Making*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male