n South African Medical Journal - The Cochrane corner in the : summaries of Cochrane systematic reviews for evidence-informed practice : editorial

Volume 105, Issue 7
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



Despite substantial gains in the implementation of evidence-based practice in the past few decades, it has recently been referred to as a 'movement in crisis'. This is not because the principle of using rigorous relevant evidence to inform healthcare decisions is in doubt, but rather that the ethos of evidence-based healthcare (EBHC) is being misrepresented or subverted by groups with vested interests, such as the pharmaceutical industry. The overwhelming volume of information from research and guidelines, which is difficult for practitioners to digest, as well as the notion that an evidence-based approach may undermine clinical judgement or experience, are additional barriers to the adoption of EBHC. These challenges notwithstanding, the principles of EBHC must continue to be promoted as the basis for honestly appraising the strengths and limitations of existing evidence and making informed healthcare decisions. Key to the success of EBHC is the integration of the best available, up-to-date research evidence with clinical judgement, and the incorporation of information regarding patient preferences and values.

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