Psychiatric Quarterly [psaq] PH196-465933-06 May 26, 2003 16:27 Style ﬁle version June 4th, 2002
Psychiatric Quarterly, Vol. 74, No. 4, Winter 2003 (
EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE AND
Gregory E. Gray, M.D., Ph.D., and Letitia A. Pinson, M.D.
Evidence-based medicine (EBM) has been deﬁned as “the conscientious, explicit
and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care
of individual patients.” EBM requires the ability to apply a knowledge of med-
ical informatics (e.g., efﬁciently searching the medical literature) and clinical
epidemiology (e.g., being able to critically appraise the literature) to the treat-
ment of individual patients. This article provides an introduction to the history,
philosophy, and methods of EBM as applied to psychiatric practice. The article
summarizes the ﬁve-step EBM model: (1) formulate the question; (2) search
for answers; (3) appraise the evidence; (4) apply the results; and (5) assess the
outcome. Resources (including Web sites) for further learning are provided.
KEY WORDS: evidence-based medicine; clinical epidemiology; medical informatics; psy-
Gregory E. Gray is Professor and Chairman, Department of Psychiatry and Human
Behavior, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, Los Angeles, CA. Letitia
A. Pinson is Resident in General Psychiatry, Martin Luther King, Jr./Charles R. Drew
Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA.
Address correspondence to Gregory E. Gray, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Psychiatry
& Human Behavior, 1720 E. 120th St. – AFH 1021, Los Angeles, CA 90059; e-mail:
2003 Human Sciences Press, Inc.