Article Text

This article has a correction. Please see:

Download PDFPDF
Towards evidence based medicine for paediatricians
    1. Evidence-based On Call, Cairns Library, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford OX3 9DU, UK
    1. Bob Phillipsbob.phillips{at}

    Statistics from

    Request Permissions

    If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

    In order to give the best care to patients and families, paediatricians need to integrate the highest quality scientific evidence with clinical expertise and the opinions of the family.1 Archimedes seeks to assist practising clinicians by providing “evidence based” answers to common questions which are not at the forefront of research but are at the core of practice.

    A word of warning. The topic summaries are not systematic reviews, though they are as exhaustive as a practising clinician can produce. They make no attempt to statistically aggregate the data, nor search the grey, unpublished literature. WhatArchimedes offers is practical, best evidence based answers to practical, clinical questions.

    The format of Archimedes may be familiar. A description of the clinical setting is followed by a structured clinical question. (These aid in focusing the mind, assisting searching,2 and gaining answers.3) A brief report of the search used follows—this has been performed in a hierarchical way, to search for the best quality evidence to answer the question.4 A table provides a summary of the evidence and key points of the critical appraisal. For further information on critical appraisal, and the measures of effect (such as number needed to treat, NNT), books by Sackett et al and Moyer et al may help.5 ,6 To pull the information together, a commentary is provided. But to make it all much more accessible, the clinical bottom line is highlighted.

    Readers wishing to submit their own questions—with best evidence answers—are encouraged to read the Instructions for Authors at

    Critical appraisal note: evidence of equivalence versus no evidence of difference

    When a randomised study compares two therapies and finds no difference in an important outcome between the two, does this provide evidence of equivalence or merely an absence of evidence of …

    View Full Text

    Linked Articles

    • Archives this month
      BMJ Publishing Group Ltd and Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
      BMJ Publishing Group Ltd and Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health