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J Eval Clin Pract. 2000 May;6(2):93-7.

Seven characteristics of medical evidence.

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Primary Care Research Unit, Sunnybrook and Women's College Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


This paper outlines seven essential characteristics of medical evidence and describes the implications of these for both the theory of evidence-based medicine and clinical practice. The seven characteristics are: (1) Provisional; (2) Defeasible; (3) Emergent; (4) Incomplete; (5) Constrained; (6) Collective and (7) Asymmetric. It is argued that the epistemological theory that best fits medical evidence is that of fallibilism.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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