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Arch Dis Child Educ Pract Ed. 2010 Apr;95(2):34-9. doi: 10.1136/adc.2009.161570.

"There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something" - asking questions and searching for answers - the evidence based approach.

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  • 1Consultant Community Paediatrician, Childrens Services, Leicester City PCT, Thurmaston, Leicester LE4 8PQ, UK.


Evidence based medicine (EBM) consists of four separate processes. Asking a clinical question Locating the evidence Appraising and synthesizing the evidence Applying the evidence Most people are familiar with the third step but not so familiar with the first two. Well-designed clinical questions can help clarify in a clinicians mind exactly what information is being sought and also help with the search. This clinical question can be framed around the PICO format. With a well-structured PICO information can then be located in a timely manner using the concept of Haynes's 5 S's and a range of websites including trial registers and meta-search engines.

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