Topics: Evidence-Based Health Care

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Evidence-based health care is medical practice based on identification and critical evaluation of research reports in the medical literature and their application to a specific patient's care.
Discussion Groups
EBHC Databases
EBHC Guidelines
Search Filters
Systematic Reviews


BMJ Collection
Trish Greenhalgh wrote the original BMJ series of introductory articles on EBM. They are accessible here along with a few more recent articles.

Rational Clinical Examination: evidence-based clinical diagnosis
Starts with clinical diagnostic questions and provides data that identify the most relevant symproms and signs. Includes data on what does not work.
Josiah Record

Users Guides to the Medical Literature: a manual for evidence-based clinical practice, 2nd. ed.
Purpose is to teach the clinician how to access what is relevant and the ability to assess its validity and whether it applies to a specific patient.
Josiah Record

Discussion Groups

Evidence-Based-Health Digest
"This list is for teachers and practitioners in EBHC to communicate with colleagues, announce meetings and courses, stimulate discussion, air controversies and aid the implementation of EBH".

Evidence-Based Databases

Cochrane Library  
Current; provides access to information compiled by the Cochrane Collaboration, an international network of individuals and institutions committed to reviewing the best evidence from clinical trials in medicine.

Provides point-of-care, evidence-based clinical topic summaries. Updated daily, DynaMed editors monitor the content of over 500 medical journals on a daily basis. Each article is evaluated for clinical relevance and scientific validity. The new evidence is then integrated with existing content, and overall conclusions are changed as appropriate, representing a synthesis of the best available evidence.

Current; UpToDate is specifically designed to answer the clinical questions that arise in daily medical practice and to do so quickly and easily so that it can be used right at the point of care. Physician editors and authors review and update the content on a continuous basis and a new, peer-reviewed version is issued every four months. The published evidence is summarized and specific recommendations made for patient care.
Licensing allows this resource to be used on-campus only, and is not available through EZProxy or the VPN.

PubMed Health
PubMed Health specializes in reviews of clinical effectiveness research, with easy-to-read summaries for consumers as well as full technical reports. Clinical effectiveness research finds answers to the question “What works?” in medical and health care.

Evidence-Based Health Care Guidelines

For access to PDQ, NCI's Comprehensive Cancer Database

CMA Infobase
Guidelines produced or endorsed in Canada by a national, provincial/territorial or regional medical or health organization, professional society, government agency or expert panel.

A single search to find full text documents from the following sources:

  • AHRQ Evidence Reports
  • AHRQ Technical Reviews and Summaries
  • AHCPR Supported Guidelines
  • AIDSInfo
  • NIH Consensus Development Reports
  • Reports of the Surgeon General
  • U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Evidence Syntheses
  • Guide to Clinical Preventive Services
  • Guide to Community Preventive Services
  • SAMHSA/CSAT Treatment Improvement Protocols
  • SAMHSA/CSAT Prevention Enhancement Protocols

MD Consult
Fulltext guidelines issued by over 50 medical societies and government agencies.

National Guideline Clearinghouse
Sponsored by the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality in partnership with the AMA and the American Association of Health Plans. Includes many full text guidelines as well as references to additional guidelines.

TRIP Database
Current;TRIP Database searches over 75 sites of high-quality medical information, providing you with direct, hyperlinked access to the largest collection of 'evidence-based' material on the web as well as articles from premier on-line journals such as the British Medical Journal, Journal of the American Medical Society (JAMA) and the New England Journal of Medicine.

Search Filters
Search filters are collections of pre-selected study design terms. They are meant to be added to search strategies to improve the retrieval of only the most appropriate and reliable studies on a topic. The assortment of filters below reflect variations based on differences in database vocabularies and searching software as well as adjustments for specificity and for focus of study.

CADTH Economic Evaluations
Filters to Identify economic evaluations in MEDLINE and EMBASE.

InterTASC Search Filters Resource - from the Centre for Reviews and DIssemination
"Easy access to published and unpublished search filters. It also provides information and guidance on how to critically appraise search filters, study design filters in progress and information on the development and use of search filters".

LILACS - "Optimal Search Strategy for Clinical Trials in the LILACS Database"
Castro AA, Clark OA & Attalah AN Sao Paulo Medical Journal 1999;117:138-139

PubMed - "Development of a Highly Sensitive Search Strategy for the Retrieval of Reports of Controlled Trials Using PubMed"
Robinson KA & Dickersin K International Journal of Epidemiology 2002:31:150-153

PubMed - "Finding the Evidence on PubMed"
From Yale University

PubMed Clinical Queries
What's really being searched when you type a topic into a Clinical Query search box.

PubMed Systematic Reviews Subset Strategy
What's really being searched when you type "AND topic[sb]."

Search Strategies for MEDLINE in OVID Syntax with PubMed Translation
From the Hedges Project at McMaster Univeristy

Strategies for CINAHL in OVID Syntax
From the Hedges Project at McMaster Univeristy

Strategies for EMBASE in OVID Syntax
From the Hedges Project at McMaster Univeris

Strategies for PsycInfo in OVID Syntax
From the Hedges Project at McMaster Univeris

Preparing a Systematic Review

Centre for Reviews and Dissemination
CRD’s guidance for undertaking reviews in health care

Cochrane Collaboration Open Learning Material for Reviewers

Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions
Official guide to preparing a Cochrane systematic review.