By Jacob Godwin, DAOM, Dipl OM, LAc; Arthur Fan, CMD, PhD, LAc
Evidence-based medicine (EBM) skills are critical to clinical effectiveness and to developing and maintaining an effective intellectual ecosystem of clinicians, researchers, policy-makers, and academics. One important competency within the evidence-based medicine paradigm is the ability to appraise research papers critically. The authors first discuss the value of research literacy among acupuncturists and then demonstrate the importance of this skill by critically appraising a randomized controlled trial (RCT) on chronic knee pain published by Hinman et al. in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in 2014. Keywords: evidence-based medicine, Hinman trial, acupuncture, research literacy, acupuncture competencies Introduction Four universally accepted core competencies in EBM are required of clinicians: the ability to 1) turn clinical practice problems into focused questions, 2) systematically retrieve published literature to address their questions, 3) appraise the literature they find for applicability and scientific validity, and 4) apply their appraisal to the clinical case before them (1). This paper focuses on the third competency, the ability to appraise clinical research critically for scientific validity and applicability to a clinical question. The example described below, a small (n=282) RCT of chronic knee pain published by Hinman et al. in 2014 (2), is particularly applicable to the issue of validity.
Read more at: Godwin J, Fan AY. Evidence based medicine skills for acupuncturist part I- The Hinman Trial on Chronic Knee Pain and the Importance of Critical Appraisal Skills. J Am Acupunct 2015;70 Summer 22-29.