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EBM Resources

5S Pyramid of Evidence

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Types of Evidence Defined:

  • Computerized decision support systems. These are new and evolving technologies that allow clinicians to search for the best evidence from applicable research based on a given patient's individual history and presentation.
  • Summaries/Guidelines. These compile the best evidence from several of the lower layers of the pyramid (especially from syntheses or synopses of syntheses), and provide a wide range of treatment information. Examples include clinical practice guidelines, clinical pathways, summaries and guidelines in point-of-care tools, and evidence updates.
  • Synopses. If available on a given topic, these short synopses provide concise and useful descriptions of significant systematic reviews or meta-analyses.
  • Syntheses. A synthesis is a systematic review of all the literature on a given topic that that allows for a comprehensive summary of what is known. These may include meta-analyses which statistically pool data from individual studies.
  • Studies. These are original studies or journal articles (RCT, Cohort, Case Control Studies/Trials) and Case Series/Reports.
  • Expert Opinion/ Background. Examples include review articles, textbooks, point-of-care tools with topic summaries
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