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What is evidence-based medicine?

· Evidence,health,choice

The terms evidence-based medicine and evidence-based practices have been used a lot in recent years. But what do they actually mean?


According to a group of researchers, evidence-based medicine “integrates the best external evidence with individual clinical expertise and patients’ choice”.


This means that the doctor or health provider is up to date with research and uses their years of experience to work with their patient’s preferences. The ideal situation is when both parties work together to design a plan of action to restore health and well-being for the patient and/or the patient’s family.


So, do not be afraid to speak up and ask your child’s doctor questions. It is your responsibility to speak on behalf of your child. As you can see from the definition above, you have a right to ask questions and together with your doctor/health provider, you can choose which course of action is best for your child.


A caring practitioner will listen to your concerns about side effects and adverse reactions about a particular treatment and will work with you to maximise your child’s well-being whilst minimising if not eliminating any potential harm to your child.


The other important point that I would like to finish with in regards to evidence-based therapies is that, even though there may be evidence for a particular therapy it may not work for your child. It doesn’t mean the therapy is not a good therapy or that there is something wrong with your child.


When a therapy has been scrutinised using some form of experimentation method it is tested on a sample of people with similar conditions. The end results that are produced from clinical trials are never 100%. That means they will work for some if not most of the population with a similar condition, but not for everyone, every time.


Just keep that in mind!


If something doesn’t work for your child, ask your health provider to try something else, providing they are always taking into account the side-effects, and the risk-to-benefit ratio.