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Evidence based health care has taken root as one of the central pillars of modern medicine. The delivery of health care based on evidence has never been more important as we grapple with unexplained variations in practice and spiralling healthcare costs.
- Professor Carl Heneghan, Director of the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine

Oxford University is today launching two new Masters’ degrees in Evidence Based Health Care as part of its continuing professional development programme to enable health care professionals worldwide to base their clinical decisions on valid, reliable and relevant evidence.

The two new courses focus specifically on medical statistics and systematic reviews within the wider context of evidence based health care, and aim to provide health care professionals with the tools to analyse data from clinical research, summarise it, and apply the evidence to their own clinical settings, as well as take the first steps in conducting their own research projects.

Offered as a series of part-time courses by the University’s Department of Continuing Education, the programme works in collaboration with Oxford University’s globally renowned Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine in the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences.

“Evidence based health care has taken root as one of the central pillars of modern medicine, commented Professor Carl Heneghan, Director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine. “The delivery of health care based on evidence has never been more important as we grapple with unexplained variations in practice and spiralling healthcare costs.”

The courses are aimed at health care professionals who are challenged with sourcing and applying the right evidence to their clinical and health care management decision making.

“Understanding the study design that has generated the research you are considering to inform your practice is absolutely crucial,” commented Dr Kamal Mahtani, an Oxfordshire-based GP and Deputy Director of Oxford University’s Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine.  “That understanding, combined with the knowledge to interpret and apply evidence from research to a clinical scenario, means busy health care professionals can quickly identify good research and use it deliver the best possible care for their patients.”

The part-time Masters’ programme in Evidence Based Health Care now comprises three separate courses - MSc Evidence Based Health Care (EBHC), MSc EBHC Medical Statistics and MSc EBHC Systematic Reviews.

“Medical statistics is about translating a clinical question into a question a computer can answer, and then translating that answer back into information that is useful in clinical science,” commented Professor Richard Stevens, Course Director of the Masters’ in EBHC Medical Statistics.

“Health care professionals who have taken their first steps in doing research soon understand the value of having a good understanding of statistics. This course is for the doctor, nurse or allied health professional who wants the experience of the core statistical techniques and an understanding of how the process works.”

The courses can be taken for up to four years and the flexible nature of face-to-face learning and discussion with Oxford University tutors blended with online learning means health care professionals internationally can undertake professional development while maintaining their clinical roles.

The programme is open for applications, with a start date of October 2017. Find out more at www.conted.ox.ac.uk/ebhc