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Center for Evidence-Based Practice


What is Evidence-Based Practice?

"Evidence-based practice is the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients." (David Sackett)

Currently, physicians are overwhelmed with the amount of information that is available to them via journals, pharmaceutical representatives, and continuing medical education.  Evidence-based medicine and information mastery are tools physicians can use to separate important information from non-relevant information to increase their effectiveness in providing patient care (David Slawson and Allen Shaughnessy).

What is the purpose of the Center for Evidence-Based Practice?

The purpose of the Center is three-fold: 1) to develop interdisciplinary educational programs in evidence-based medicine, information mastery and primary care research and development, 2) to design and implement community-based primary care research projects using evidence-based approaches, and 3) to establish links with community-based practices in underserved areas of Pennsylvania in an effort to increase the number of primary care physicians involved in research.


Director, Center for Evidence-Based Practice
Evans Hall, Dean's Suite


Michelle Hobson, DO
Clinical Instructor, Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine

Pat Lannutti, DO
Professor and Co-Vice Chair, Internal Medicine

Stephanie Ferretti
Associate Director of Public and Technical Services, Library

Adjunct Members

Jeffrey Harris, D.PH
West Chester University
Department of Health
317 Sturzebecker Health Sciences Center 
West Chester, PA 
Gopal Sankaran, MD, PHD
West Chester University
Department of Health
317 Sturzebecker Health Sciences Center

West Chester, PA 

David C. Slawson, MD
B. Lewis Barnett Jr., Professor of Family Medicine
University of Virginia Health System
Charlottesville, VA

Allen F. Shaughnessy, Pharm D.
Tufts University Family Medicine Residency
100 Hospital Road
Malden, MA


John Epling, MD
Assistant Professor of Family Medicine
Center for Evidence-Based Practice
SUNY-Upstate Medical University
Syracuse, NY

Matthew Weinberg, MB
Research Subject Protection Program
New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services
Trenton, NJ











Academic Courses

Medicine and Society: Epidemiology and Biomedical Ethics
This course is taught to first/second year medical students utilizing a unique approach that involves online interactions and assignments.  The overall operational goal is to present important information in a user-friendly way, allowing the students to learn at their own pace and convenience. Throughout the course, an overview of the fundamental principles of public health, epidemiology, biostatistics, evidence-based medicine (EBM), and information mastery is presented. Lectures focus on applying key clinical concepts of each discipline to meet the health needs of patients, including ethical approaches, and their communities. Assignments focus on applying this information to clinical practice. For more details on this course, please see the  homepage.  

Continuing Medical Education

PCOM's CME programs are geared towards presenting quality education focused on integrating evidence-based practice into clinical practice.  Programs that have been sponsored by the CEBP include the following:
  Preventive Approaches for the Primary Care Physician
  Evidence-Based Approach to Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine
     New Challenges for Primary Care Health Professionals-The Diagnosis and Management of Rheumatoid Arthritis
  Integrating Evidence-Based Medicine into Clinical Practice

The CEBP conducts a monthly research colloquim on various topics of interest to primary care.  The purpose of the colloquium is to provide an informal forum to teach information mastery skills, the principles of evidence-based medicine, serve as an introduction to the medical field and serve as a "springboard" for primary care research ideas. 


In each session, members critically appraise the current best evidence available to answer a question developed from a patient case.  Content expert clinicians are also part of the colloquium to offer insight into the cases.



The Center is available for workshops on Integrating Evidence-Based Medicine into Clinical Practice and other special interests.  Workshops can be held at your institution or at PCOM. For large groups, discounts are available.
With the technology available today, clinicians are bombarded by health information from many sources.  Clinicians rely on these sources, such as journal articles, pharmaceutical representatives, and colleagues, yet most clinicians have had little formal training in assessing the clinical usefulness of the information obtained from each source.  Information mastery is an effective and efficient way of identifying, evaluating and using new information. 

The CEBP, in conjunction with the PCOM library, provides workshops that  develop skills for critically reading the clinical research literature.  

Primary Care Research Scholar Program

The CEBP is available to students, faculty and preceptors for training and assistance on community-based research projects and practice evaluations. To date, we have had students from West Chester University, LaSalle University, and the College of New Jersey participate in the program.   

Ongoing Research Projects
Many community-based research projects have been implemented by the Center through the Research Scholar Program in underserved areas of Pennsylvania.  The projects described below aimed to establish links with community-based practices as well as to provide evidence-based interventions in the areas of cardiac health, arthritis, and obesity.  

Heart Healthy Community Project and the Lay Health Advisor
The Center recruited and trained community helpers (Lay Health Advisors) on counseling techniques in areas such as blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol control, smoking cessation, alcoholism and drug abuse, and physical activity.  The advisors engaged the community and partnered with community leaders, to help develop a positive influence on the heart health of community members.

PCOM Healthy Lifestyles Program
Based on current evidence of effective interventions for the treatment of obesity, the Center developed a ten-week culturally tailored program for weight loss. The program focuses on teaching participants the skills of living a healthy lifestyle, covering topics such as dietary recommendations and the Food Guide Pyramid, the importance of exercise, nutrition label reading, emotional issues of weight loss, and healthy food preparation. Participants are given a pedometer to use during the program in an effort to increase their motivation to exercise. They also complete a food diary during the program. 

Cardiac Risk Assessment in an Underserved Population
The Center reviewed patient charts from an inner-city underserved health clinic and analyzed them for cardiac risk.  Data collected included age, gender, race, smoking status, total and HDL cholesterol, and systolic blood pressure (treated or untreated). Risk was assessed using the modified Framingham scale, which assigns points based on the aforementioned factors.

Obesity in African-American Females
Similar to the Cardiac Risk Assessment project, the Center reviewed patient charts from an inner-city underserved health clinic.  The body mass index (BMI) of a random sample of patients attending the clinic was determined and appropriate interventions were suggested.   


Educational Resources 

Guided tutorial on Evidence-Based Practice:  
General information on Evidence-Based Practice: 

EBM Tools

EBM Glossary

Information Mastery:
Center for Information Mastery, David C. Slawson, MD
Last Updated: 1/20/15