Applying the evidence back to the patient

Hywel Williams

Figure 12.1 Clinical trial evidence is all very well, but if the patient in front of you tells you "I don't want that treatment", what then?

Applying the external evidence back to the patient sitting in front of you is perhaps one of the most difficult and least discussed steps of evidence-based medicine.1,2 Having unearthed some relevant, high-quality and valid information from clinical trials in relation to a clinical question generated by a patient encounter, five questions now need to be asked in order to guide the application of such information to that patient.3 These are listed in Box 12.1 and discussed in turn below.

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