Evaluating evidence in medicine: whence and wither

Evidence evaluation is a core practice of the sciences. In medicine, specifically, the issue has been tackled by developing analytical and conceptual tools such as the ‘evidence hierarchies’. The question that lies at the heart of these methods is how to decide what is the best evidence to base our decisions for diagnosis or for treatment. Evidence hierarchies attracted large consensus but also criticism. One such criticism has been that these approaches leave out an important element, namely evidence of mechanisms.

The goal of the EBM+ consortium is therefore to develop concepts and methods that allow medical doctors, epidemiologists,  and other health officers to evaluate evidence integrating the results of randomized controlled trials with other sources of evidence. These may be results from lab experiments, case reports, patient narratives, or other. The stake is high as it concerns, simultaneously, philosophy of science, medical methodology, and public health policy.

In the meeting, which will take place in Amsterdam on January 21, 2016, scholars affiliated to the EBM+ consortium will present and discuss their work in progress with potential interested parties such as scientists and officers based at Academic Medical Centrum (AMC – UvA), Leiden University Medical Centrum (LUMC), and the Dutch Health Institute (ZINL).  Attendance is free but space is limited. If you are interested in attending, contact Federica Russo (f.russo@uva.nl) by 11th January 2016 at the latest.

More information here.

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