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Open Access Commentary

Evidence-based medicine and values-based medicine: partners in clinical education as well as in clinical practice

Ed Peile

Author affiliations

Warwick Medical School, The University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL, UK

Citation and License

BMC Medicine 2013, 11:40  doi:10.1186/1741-7015-11-40


Please see the related research article here http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/11/39

Published: 15 February 2013

Abstract

The best clinical decisions are based on both evidence and values in what is known as the 'two-feet principle'. Anecdotally, educationalists find teaching clinicians to become more evidence based is relatively simple in comparison to encouraging them to become more values based. One reason is likely to be the importance of values awareness. As values-based practice is premised on a mutual respect for the diversity of values, clinicians need to develop the skills to ascertain patient values and to get in touch with their own beliefs and preferences in order to understand those at play in any consultation. Only then can shared decision-making processes take place within a shared framework of values. In a research article published in BMC Medicine, Altamirano-Bustamante and colleagues highlight difficulties that clinicians face in getting in touch with their own values. Despite finding that healthcare personnel's core values were honesty and respect, autonomy was initially low ranked by participants. One significant aspect of this work is that this group has demonstrated that the extent to which clinicians value 'autonomy' and 'openness to change' can both be positively influenced by well designed education.

Keywords:
clinical decision making; complexity; conflict; evidence-based medicine; values-based medicine