Understanding health care workers’ anxieties in a diversifying world
The original publication is available at http://www.plosmedicine.org
We live in an age of evidencebased medicine, and with good reason. It is important to be able to evaluate the likely impact of various interventions, and it is no longer acceptable to practice health care on the basis of received wisdom and anecdotal evidence, which has convincingly been shown to be subject to serious bias. One of the dangers of the evidence revolution in health care, however, is that the emphasis on an actuarial approach (see Glossary) to evaluating health interventions may obscure the influence of more complex interactions between patients and health professionals. The impact of these interactions upon health care outcomes may be idiosyncratic and rather difficult to measure. Two important ways in which evidence-based medicine has attempted to account for these interactions are the increasing emphasis on what is variously called effectiveness (as opposed to efficacy) research, and the project to turn evidence into clinical practice guidelines so that patients receive consistent care.