Paving the way for evidence-based medicine in Pakistan

Zareen Zaidi, Jawad Hashim, Mobeen Iqbal, K. Mujtaba Quadri

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Evidence-based Medicine (EBM) is the process of systematically reviewing, appraising and using clinical research findings to aid the delivery of optimal clinical care to patients. EBM has become popular due to: the need for valid information about diagnosis, prognosis, therapy and prevention during patient care; traditional sources such as textbooks and expert opinion being frequently out-of-date; and knowledge of current best evidence declining with time from graduation from medical college. EBM has become feasible for practicing clinicians due to: new strategies for appraising studies; availability of systematic reviews (summaries) of current best evidence; and information technology (computers with Internet access). In a resource-limited country such as Pakistan, an evidence-based approach can be cost-effective by reducing clinical practices that have no proven benefit. Commonly perceived obstacles to EBM include limited access to computers, the Internet and online resources. Reliable resources of EBM are available (such as The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews although many of these require paid subscriptions. Another difficulty is the issue of applicability of data from other countries to patients in our setting with different socio-economic factors. Other barriers to EBM in developing countries include: inexperience in small-group learning, limited time to attend workshops, and the lack of role models for practicing EBM. We have also tried to address the common fallacies related to EBM in the hope of greater use of these skills by busy clinicians as well as academic researchers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)556-560
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the Pakistan Medical Association
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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