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What evidence affects clinical practice? An analysis of Evidence-Based Medicine commentaries
  1. Charles Coombs1,
  2. Igho Onakpoya2,
  3. Kamal Mahtani2,
  4. Jeffrey Aronson2,
  5. Jack O’Sullivan2,
  6. Annette Pluddemann2,
  7. Carl Heneghan2
  1. 1 Winchester College, Winchester, UK
  2. 2 Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Carl Heneghan, Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 2JD, UK; carlheneghan{at}

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Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM) published by BMJ aims to alert clinicians to significant advances in healthcare by selecting original and systematic review articles, from 100 candidate journals, whose results are likely to be both reliable and useful.1 We select articles if they concern topics relevant to internal medicine, general and family practice, surgery, emergency and critical care, psychiatry, paediatrics or obstetrics and gynaecology. Articles are summarised in value-added abstracts and commented on by clinical experts in the field.

To better understand the impact our choices may have on clinical practice, we audited 1 year’s worth of the journal’s commentaries, asking what journals we select from, what types of studies we choose and whether we identify articles likely to change practice.

To do this, we surveyed EBM commentaries published between December 2016 and September 2017 and extracted the following information: study type, original journal, setting and type of intervention. We used the commentaries from clinical experts …

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