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Welcome  |   What is EBM?  |  Clinical Question  |  Literature Search  |  Evaluating Evidence  |  Test Your Knowledge  |  References / Glossary




Welcome. This tutorial is intended for any health care practitioner or student who needs a basic introduction to the principles of Evidence-Based Medicine.

Upon completion of this self-paced tutorial, you will be able to:

  • define Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM)

  • identify the parts of a well-built clinical question

  • identify EBM searching strategies that could improve MEDLINE retrieval

  • identify key issues that help determine the validity of the results of a study

This tutorial is not designed to teach you how to search the literature.

This tutorial teaches you concepts of EBM. For the latest information about EBM resources and research, see the EBM Education Center of Excellence.

How to use this Tutorial

The units in this tutorial are always listed on the top of the screen. You may leave a unit at any time, start over at any time, or even skip a section.

Each unit of this tutorial is a Web page. The topics covered in a unit appear at the top of each unit page. Click on a topic to go directly to that section.

This tutorial includes five major units. We recommend that you go through them in sequence. They will give you an overview of the Evidence-Based Medicine process as well as give you an opportunity to practice with new cases. The five units are:

  • What is Evidence Based Medicine? provides definitions and explains the steps in the EBM process.

  • The Well-Built Clinical Question introduces you to a patient, illustrates the anatomy of a good clinical question, and defines the types of questions and studies.

  • Literature Search constructs a well-built literature search and identifies potentially relevant articles.

  • Evaluating the Evidence identifies criteria for determining the validity of a study.

  • Testing your Knowledge gives you an opportunity to practice the EBM process with several new cases.

In addition to the above units, this tutorial includes the following sections:

References and Glossary points you to additional sites for continued study of the EBM process, and defines some of the terms used in EBM. All cited references are included in this unit.

At the bottom of each unit page is a navigation bar that allows you to go to the previous unit, References page, or next unit.

Within this tutorial, you have several opportunities to follow links to other Web sites. The external sites open in a new window. Close the second window to return to this tutorial.

We hope this tutorial will be easy to use as well as give you a foundation for the process of Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM). Allow approximately 2 hours to complete the tutorial and 1 practice case.


This tutorial was adapted from a tutorial developed by Connie Schardt, Duke University Medical Center Library and Jill Mayer, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Health Science Library. Comments, questions or problems, please contact Danielle Loftus, (

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License

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