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July 1, 2022

Professional Judgement in Clinical Practice (Part 2): Knowledge into Practice

Mugerauer, Robert. (2021). Professional Judgement in Clinical Practice (Part 2): Knowledge into Practice. Journal Of Evaluation In Clinical Practice, 27(3), 603 – 611.

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Rationale, Aims, and Objectives Though strong evidence-based medicine is assertive in its claims, an insufficient theoretical basis and patchwork of arguments provide a good case that rather than introducing a new paradigm, EBM is resisting a shift to actually revolutionary complexity theory and other emergent approaches. This refusal to pass beyond discredited positivism is manifest in strong EBM's unsuccessful attempts to continually modify its already inadequate previous modifications, as did the defenders of the Ptolemaic astronomical model who increased the number of circular epicycles until the entire epicycle-deferent system proved untenable. Methods Narrative Review. Results The analysis in Part 1 of this three part series showed epistemological confusion as strong EBM plays the discredited positivistic tradition out to the end, thus repeating in a medical sphere and vocabulary the major assumptions and inadequacies that have appeared in the trajectory of modern science. Paper 2 in this series examines application, attending to strong EBM's claim of direct transferability of EBM research findings to clinical settings and its assertion of epistemological normativity. EBM's contention that it provides the only valid approach to knowledge and action is questioned by analyzing the troubled story of proposed hierarchies of the quality of research findings (especially of RCTs, with other factors marginalized), which falsely identifies evaluating findings with operationally utilizing them in clinical recommendations and decision-making. Further, its claim of carrying over its normative guidelines to cover the ethical responsibilities of researchers and clinicians is questioned.


Judgment (psychology); Professions; Evidence-based Medicine; Science; Medical Research; Application To Clinical Recommendations; Evidence‚Äêbased Medicine; Judgement; Quality Of Evidence; 2009 Cancer-control; Practice Guidelines; Health-care; G. H.; Grade; Quality; Recommendations; Ashcroft; Guyatt; Evidence‐ Based Medicine