Evidence-based decision making is a concept that is referred to increasingly in various disciplines, especially within medical circles. In these days of shrinking finances and growing demands on our respective health care systems, there is an expectation that higher standards of evidence will be put to use. We need treatments of proven value, both in terms of cost and efficacy. Our own field of epidemiology plays a central role in this process. This mainly occurs through the conduct of trials that examine the merits of different treatments, and the interpretation of the evidence that contributes to clinical practice guidelines.
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