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EBVM Toolkit

The EBVM Toolkit is designed to help busy veterinary practitioners answer a clinical question with the best available evidence.

The Toolkit provides a guide to steps 1-3 of the 5 key steps to follow in EBVM:

  1. Asking an answerable clinical question

  2. Finding the best available evidence to answer the question

  3. Critically appraising the evidence for validity

  4. Applying the results to clinical practice

  5. Evaluating performance

Each tool is a standalone document but if you are new to EBVM you might want to work through them in sequence:

   1. Asking an answerable clinical question

The first step in searching for literature is to define your question, phrasing it in such a way that it will help you find all relevant articles and reduce the chance of you leaving anything important out. One way to do this is to use the PICO method.

 EBVM Toolkit 1 [PDF 198KB]

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   2. Finding the best available evidence

The next step is to use the key concepts from the PICO to identify search terms and  use these to build a search strategy.

EBVM Toolkit 2 [PDF 250KB]

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   3. Critically appraising the evidence for validity

Before using the checklists to critically appraise an article, you need to determine the study design presented in the article. EBVM Toolkit 3 explains how different types of study design can affect the "levels of evidence" a study provides; and EBVM Toolkit 4 offers advice on how to identify what type of study it is. EBVM Toolkits 6-15 provide critical appraisal checklists for different types of studies.

EBVM Toolkit 3 - Introduction to "Levels of evidence" and study design [PDF 96KB]

EBVM Toolkit 4 - What type of study is it? [PDF 349KB]

EBVM Toolkit 5 - Is this paper worth my time? [PDF 102KB]

EBVM Toolkit 6 - Controlled trial checklist [PDF 83KB]

EBVM Toolkit 7 - Cross sectional study checklist [PDF 86KB]

EBVM Toolkit 8 - Case control checklist [PDF 103KB]

EBVM Toolkit 9 - Cohort study checklist [PDF 86KB]

EBVM Toolkit 10 - Systematic review checklist [PDF 82KB]

EBVM Toolkit 11 - Qualitative study checklist [PDF 82KB]

EBVM Toolkit 12 - Diagnostic test study checklist [PDF 222KB] 

EBVM Toolkit 13 - Evidence Summary checklist [PDF 210KB] 

EBVM Toolkit 14 - Narrative Review checklist [PDF 192KB ] 

EBVM Toolkit 15 - Clinical Guidelines checklist [PDF 194KB] 

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Sharing your answers with the profession

We hope this Toolkit will be useful for daily evidence-based practice – and that practitioners will share the answers they’ve found with their colleagues, by writing a Knowledge Summary and submitting it to Veterinary Evidence.

Examples of published Knowledge Summaries, as well as author guidelines and submission templates can be found on Veterinary Evidence

EBVM Learning

An online tutorial introducing the concepts of EBVM, and aims to give you a foundation from which you can start to appy EBVM to your own veterinary work.

We welcome comments and suggestions for improvement for all of the tools on this page. Please email