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EBM Resources

Examples of Foreground Questions

Two additional important elements of the well-built clinical question to consider are the type of foreground question and the type of study (methodology). This information can be helpful in focusing the question and determining the most appropriate type of evidence. The for types relate to therapy, diagnosis, prognosis, etiology/harm

  • Therapy/Intervention: Questions of treatment in order to achieve some outcome. May include drugs, surgical intervention, change in diet, counseling, etc.

Therapy: In children with spastic cerebral palsy, what is the effect of splinting and casting compared to constraint-induced therapy of two-handed skill development?

Intervention: In African-American female adolescents with hepatitis B, how does acetaminophen compared to ibuprofen affect liver function?

  • Diagnosis: Questions of identification of a disorder in a patient presenting with specific symptoms.
In middle-aged males with suspected myocardial infarction (heart attack), are serial 12-lead ECGs compared to one initiatil 12-lead ECG more accurate in diagnosing an acute myocardial infarction?
  • Prognosis: Questions of progression of a disease or likelihood of a disease occurring.
In patients who have experienced heart attack, how does being a smoker compared to a non-smoker influence death and more heart attack rates during the first 5 years after the first heart attack
  • Etiology/Harm: Questions of negative impact from an intervention or other exposure.
Are 30- to 50-year old women who have high blood pressure compared to those without high blood pressure at increased risk for an acute myocardial infarction during the first year after hysterectomy?
Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, Medical Library
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