Evidence-based medicine in practice: limiting or facilitating patient choice?

Health Expect. 2002 Jun;5(2):95-103. doi: 10.1046/j.1369-6513.2002.00168.x.


Facilitating patient choice is an important element in respecting the autonomy of patients. Evidence-based medicine has the potential to contribute to this process by the provision of high quality research-based information, for use by patients and clinicians. In this paper, I analyse the processes of evidence-based medicine in order to identify the ways in which patient choice is affected by decisions made in the development and use of evidence-based guidelines. I argue that despite the potential contribution, the current methods and techniques of guideline production limit rather than facilitate patient choice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Choice Behavior*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / methods*
  • Humans
  • Patient Participation / methods*
  • Personal Autonomy
  • Policy Making
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic* / standards
  • Professional-Patient Relations