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Measuring Treatment Effectiveness: A Guide to Incorporating the Principles of Evidence-Based Medicine

Waljee, Jennifer F. M.D., M.S.; Larson, Bradley P.; Chung, Kevin C. M.D., M.S.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: December 2012 - Volume 130 - Issue 6 - p 1382–1394
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e31826da054
Special Topics: EBM Special Topic

Summary: Every year, hundreds of new surgical devices and techniques are introduced, and plastic surgeons must determine the associated risks, benefits, and costs of these options when incorporating these advances into their armamentarium. This article will discuss the elements of treatment effectiveness by applying the principles of evidence-based medicine to therapeutics. Current efforts to measure plastic surgery outcomes are evolving and rely on case series and retrospective cohort studies. This review will highlight the basic evidence-based medicine concepts and how they can potentially be applied to understand best practices in plastic surgery.

Ann Arbor, Mich.

From the Section of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, The University of Michigan Health System.

Received for publication February 24, 2012; accepted June 18, 2012.

Disclosure: The authors have no financial interest in any of the products or devices mentioned in this article.

Jennifer F. Waljee, M.D., M.S.; Section of Plastic Surgery, University of Michigan Health System, 2130 Taubman Center, SPC 5340, 1500 E. Medical Center Drive, Ann Arbor, Mich. 48109-5340,

©2012American Society of Plastic Surgeons