The Limitations of Evidence-Based Practice

Evidence-based practice does have limitations. One of the limitations alluded to above is its focus on the treatment of groups rather than individuals. Therefore, the evidence provides guidelines as to how patients, as a group, should be treated and in that way also provides some guidance as to how the individual patient should be treated. However, in the end, how a patient is treated is an individual clinician’s decision. There are times when the evidence will need to be put aside for a specific case. The important element is that these cases should not be common but rather uncommon and the majority of patients should be managed according to the evidence. Evidence-based practice can also be problematic when the evidence is misinterpreted. The most common scenario occurs when results of a trial are generalized to a wider group than they should be. Evidence is a tool, and as such, the interpretation and implementation of it must be done carefully.