Get access

Meaning and measurement: an inclusive model of evidence in health care

Authors

  • Ross E.G. Upshur,

    1. Assistant Professor and Research Scholar, Director, Primary Care Research Unit, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto, Sunnybrook Campus, Sunnybrook and Women’s College Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Elizabeth G. VanDenKerkhof,

    1. Assistant Professor, Department of Anesthesiology, Queen’s University, Kingston General Hospital, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Vivek Goel

    1. Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Health Administration, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Search for more papers by this author

Correspondence: DrR.E.G.Upshur Primary Care Research Unit, Department of Family and Community Medicine, Sunnybrook Campus, Sunnybrook and Women’s College Health Sciences Centre, Room E349B 2075 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4N 3M5

Abstract

Evidence-based approaches are assuming prominence in many health-care fields. The core ideas of evidence-based health care derive from clinical epidemiology and general internal medicine. The concept of evidence has yet to be analysed systematically; what counts as evidence may vary across disciplines. Furthermore, the contribution of the social sciences, particularly qualitative methodology, has received scant attention. This paper outlines a model of evidence that describes four distinct but related types of evidence: qualitative-personal; qualitative-general; quantitative-general and quantitative-personal. The rationale for these distinctions and the implications of these for a theory of evidence are discussed.

Get access to the full text of this article

Ancillary