1. The Philosophy of Evidence-Based Medicine

  1. Jeremy Howick1,2

Published Online: 23 MAR 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781444342673.ch1

The Philosophy of Evidence-Based Medicine

The Philosophy of Evidence-Based Medicine

How to Cite

Howick, J. (2011) The Philosophy of Evidence-Based Medicine, in The Philosophy of Evidence-Based Medicine, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444342673.ch1

Author Information

  1. 1

    Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, Department of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

  2. 2

    Department of Science and Technology Studies, University College London, London, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 23 MAR 2011
  2. Published Print: 8 APR 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405196673

Online ISBN: 9781444342673

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Keywords:

  • evidence-based medicine (EBM) methodology - and philosophy of evidence-based medicine;
  • three overlapping methods - determining whether treatments are effective, history of medicine;
  • evidence-based medicine (EBM) methodology, its use - questions about EBM foundations;
  • logic of scientific discovery, problem of underdetermination - nature of causal inference and logic of evidence (confirmation theory);
  • EBM, introduced as a “new paradigm” - in the early 1990s;
  • social scientists, policy-makers and even chaplains - demonstrating that their practices are “evidence”-based;
  • EBM “philosophy” of evidence - best expressed in EBM “hierarchies”;
  • simplified EBM hierarchy of evidence - and paradoxes;
  • antidepressant Prozac, proven superior to placebo - in double-blind RCTs, effects of Prozac over “placebo” effects, hotly disputed;
  • critiques, focusing on mechanistic reasoning - generalizing results of randomized trials

Summary

This chapter contains sections titled:

  • What on earth was medicine based on before evidence-based medicine?

  • Scope of the book

  • How the claims of EBM will be examined

  • Structure of what is to come