Fundamental principles of evidence-based medicine applied to mental health care

Document Type


Publication Date



The purpose of evidence-based medicine (EBM) is to enable patients— through the process of collaboration with their health care providers—to take advantage of the best available scientific evidence when they are making health care decisions [1–4]. Despite extensive efforts in general medicine, EBM is only beginning to impact mental health providers in the United States and elsewhere. This article summarizes the fundamental principles of EBM, the relationship between EBM and related concepts such as evidence-based practices, and the implications of the principles of EBM for mental health care.