Short-cuts to effectiveness information

A while ago Archimedes reviewed the benefits of using ‘pre-appraised’ search resources, short-cuts to the best methodological quality evidence to answer clinical questions. The favoured database of many, PubMed [www.pubmed.gov] has now receieved a new addition to the range of resources on offer.

The main database still houses the ‘clinical queries‘ entry page [www.pubmed.gov/clinical], where you can select the focus of your question and use proven filters to cut to the best papers to answer your enquiry. There is also a new collection, ‘PubMed Health‘,[www.pubmed/gov/health] that draws together guidelines, full text of many systematic reviews, and independent appraisals of may more reviews, in order to improve our access to rapidly usable information. Using this as a source of search information should be tried out right at the top of your search¬†hierarchy¬†– looking for ‘summaries’ and ¬†‘synopses’, and ‘systematic reviews’ before having to rely on ‘single studies’.

As with all search resources, you’ll need to play and see how well it delivers on the questions in your own subspeciality before incorporating it into your everyday practice, but this may be the PubMed version you’ve been waiting for.

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