Skip navigation

Book Reviews

Rational diagnosis and treatment: evidence-based clinical decision making. HR Wulff & PC Gøtzsche. Blackwell Science, Oxford. 3rd edition. 221pp. ISBN 0-632-03197-2
Evidence-based practice: a primer for health care professionals. M Dawes et al. Churchill Livingstone, Edinburgh, 2000. 254pp. ISBN 0-443-06126-2

Rational diagnosis and treatment: evidence-based clinical decision making. HR Wulff & PC Gøtzsche. Blackwell Science, Oxford. 3rd edition. 221pp. ISBN 0-632-03197-2


This is a terrific book concerning some of the fundamental concepts of clinical decision making. It has a distinctly philosophical bent, yet at the same time is an easy, interesting and instructive read. It has some history, which Bandolier enjoys.

Most importantly, whenever it touches on a topic there are wise words. Some of the comments on clinical and laboratory measurement, on numbers, and on descriptions of diagnostic tests really hit the spot.

Perhaps the best accolade Bandolier can give it is this: it goes into our holiday reading pile, because we want to read it again, more slowly, and more thoughtfully. It isn't a text book to be picked at when you have a problem, but a book that can redefine the way you think about things.

Evidence-based practice: a primer for health care professionals. M Dawes et al. Churchill Livingstone, Edinburgh, 2000. 254pp. ISBN 0-443-06126-2


Primer: an elementary introduction to any subject. For people who want a gentle introduction to the concepts and practice of EBM, this is the book for them. The language is clear. The topics covered are relevant, and range from critical appraisal, searching, study architecture, clinical guidelines, health economics and teaching. It was written to accompany the Master's course in evidence-based health care at the University of Oxford, and its clarity reflects the tempering process of the classroom.

Some parts are invaluable. Robin Snowball's collection of the best sources of information about EBM alone make the book worth having, with 11 pages of sources of information in paper, on CD-ROM, and on the Internet. A good book this for students, and for those of us still trying to get to grips with EBM in the practice, or on the ward, or in the office.
previous or next story in this issue