In the nineties and the noughties a great deal of emphasis was placed on Randomized Clinical Trials as being the only kind of evidence that should be read, referred to and 'believed'. Of course we should all enthusiastically welcome this form of high level scientific enquiry and certainly play attention to the findings of all these investigations. A more enlightened view however has recently emerged, whereby due weight is given to the clinical experience of diligent practitioners, and the patients viewpoint is also taken into consideration when truly delivering 'evidence based' practice. These issues will be explored and relevant clinical examples will illustrate a contemporary view of what amounts to evidence.
Recognize high scientific levels of investigation in the form of RCTs.
Evaluate what other forms of evidence should be allowed to contribute the the 'evidence base' for our clinical practice.
Attach due weight to all the various types of evidence including the patients views on treatment.