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Curr Opin Anaesthesiol. 2002 Dec;15(6):661-8.

Evidence-based medicine in anesthesiology.

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  • 1Department of Anesthesiology and Pediatrics, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA.



The principles of evidence-based medicine are now being applied in anesthesiology and intensive care medicine. The purpose of this review is to acquaint practitioners with the fundamentals of evidence-based medicine and to provide examples of how these principles can be incorporated into clinicians' practice.


Outcomes research utilizing evidence-based approaches are manifest in several areas of anesthesiology and intensive care medicine. Several examples are cited from various sub-specialty areas, including pediatric, obstetric, and general anesthesia, as well as intensive care medicine.


Evidence-based medicine is the term used to describe a practice paradigm that emphasizes the use of the best evidence available in the medical literature in making treatment decisions about the care of patients. Evidence-based approaches to care integrate individual expertise with data from externally conducted systematic research. Although evidence-based medicine has its origins in the 'treating' and 'diagnosing' specialty of internal medicine, its tenets are applicable to 'non-therapeutic' specialties such as anesthesiology and intensive care medicine. This review illustrates how evidence-based principles can be incorporated into the practice of perioperative medicine.

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