Meaning and measurement: an inclusive model of evidence in health care

J Eval Clin Pract. 2001 May;7(2):91-6. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2753.2001.00279.x.


Evidence-based approaches are assuming prominence in many health-care fields. The core ideas of evidence-based health care derive from clinical epidemiology and general internal medicine. The concept of evidence has yet to be analysed systematically; what counts as evidence may vary across disciplines. Furthermore, the contribution of the social sciences, particularly qualitative methodology, has received scant attention. This paper outlines a model of evidence that describes four distinct but related types of evidence: qualitative-personal; qualitative-general; quantitative-general and quantitative-personal. The rationale for these distinctions and the implications of these for a theory of evidence are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Evidence-Based Medicine*
  • Knowledge*
  • Quality of Health Care
  • Research