About the illusion of evidence-based practice in healthcare

The Council for Public Health and Society, chaired by Pauline Meurs, has published an important analysis of Evidence Based Practice (EBP). Because of the unclear content and shortcomings of EBP, the Council for Public Health and Society argues for 'context-based practice' instead of 'evidence-based practice'. Below are a few quotes from this report, entitled "Without context no evidence", which show that this is an important and worthwhile piece for professionals active in the innovation of health care:

"EBP has significantly improved the quality and safety of care".

"But there is also a downside. In essence, this means that the knowledge that EBP assumes is a reduction of reality".

"An inherent risk of EBP is that it reduces good, patient-oriented care to that which has been proven".

"In other words, the knowledge that EBP assumes is universal validity, and this knowledge is impersonal: it is separate from the professional and the patient as a person".

"If guidelines and quality indicators are not applied critically, this encourages undesirable standardization of care. All this together, the healthcare practice directs towards what can be investigated and substantiated with the aid of the EBP methodology. This is at the expense of care where this is difficult or impossible, and of care that is not commercially interesting".

"The proof as a basis for good care is therefore an illusion".

The whole report can be found here