“Can EBM Be Patient-Centered?”

I am a member of an international listserv about evidence-based healthcare. One poster asked “Is EBM patient-centered and is patient-centered care evidence based?” It is almost as if he views the 2 as exclusionary. In my experience many people don’t understand the EBM paradigm. This figure shows what EBM is and that it,by definition, is patient-centered.

EBM paradigm

The most important component of the EBM paradigm (the circles are in the order of importance) is patient preferences and actions. An evidence-based decision should consider patient values. Period. Thus, EBM is patient-centered.

Question 2: Is patient-centered care evidence based? It can be but might not be. Patients often don’t want the evidence-based care I offer them like immunizations or colon cancer screening. So they aren’t receiving evidence-based care but they are receiving patient-centered care.

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