Treatment of surgical patients is evidence-based

Eur J Surg. 2001 May;167(5):324-30. doi: 10.1080/110241501750215168.


Objectives: To assess the type of evidence that supported our management of surgical patients.

Design: Retrospective audit.

Setting: Teaching hospital, Republic of Ireland.

Patients: All 222 patients admitted by two surgical teams during one month. Patients admitted for diagnostic procedures were included if they were treated as a result.

Main outcome measures: Diagnosis and treatment were established from the notes. Evidence for each intervention was then sought in MEDLINE 1986-1999, Best Evidence 1991-1999, and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews Issue 3, 1999, and graded into one of five categories: systematic review, meta-analysis, randomised controlled trial, prospective study, or retrospective study.

Results: Treatment was supported by systematic review in 14, by meta-analysis in 12, by randomised controlled trial in 75, by prospective studies in 55, by retrospective studies in 58, and by no evidence in 8.

Conclusions: Everyday surgical practice in our unit is supported by good quality evidence from recent publications.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surgical Procedures, Operative*