The role of evidence based medicine in neurotrauma
Honeybul, S. and Ho, K.M. (2015) The role of evidence based medicine in neurotrauma. Journal of Clinical Neuroscience, 22 (4). pp. 611-616.
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The introduction of evidence based medicine de-emphasised clinical experience and so-called "background information" and stressed the importance of evidence gained from clinical research when making clinical decisions. For many years randomised controlled trials have been seen to be the only way to advance clinical practice, however, applying this methodology in the context of severe trauma can be problematic. In addition, it is increasingly recognised that considerable clinical experience is required in order to critically evaluate the quality of the evidence and the validity of the conclusions as presented. A contemporary example is seen when considering the role of decompressive craniectomy in the management of neurotrauma. Although there is a considerable amount of evidence available attesting to the efficacy of the procedure, considerable clinical expertise is required in order to properly interpret the results of these studies and the implications for clinical practice. Given these limitations the time may have come for a redesign of the traditional pyramid of evidence, to a model that re-emphasises the importance of "background information" such as pathophysiology and acknowledges the role of clinical experience such that the evidence can be critically evaluated in its appropriate context and the subsequent implications for clinical practice be clearly and objectively defined.
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