Understanding evidence-based medicine: a primer

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2001 Aug;185(2):275-8. doi: 10.1067/mob.2001.116740.


Evidenced-based medicine is the concept of formalizing the scientific approach to the practice of medicine for identification of "evidence" to support our clinical decisions. It requires an understanding of critical appraisal and the basic epidemiologic principles of study design, point estimates, relative risk, odds ratios, confidence intervals, bias, and confounding. By using this information, clinicians can categorize evidence, assess causality, and make evidence-based recommendations. Evidence-based medicine allows analysis of complicated material so that we can make the best possible clinical decisions for the populations we serve.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Disease / etiology
  • Epidemiology
  • Evidence-Based Medicine*
  • Humans