Valid and relevant evidence from the College library
Systematic reviews and meta-analyses are the highest level of evidence to support clinical decisions. Registrants can quickly locate these publications by searching any of several online resources through the library section of the College website.
The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews from the Cochrane Collaboration provides access to the full text of highly regarded, comprehensive and independent reviews. The content of the reviews focuses on summaries and analyses of randomized controlled trials on clearly defined questions, primarily on clinical effectiveness of diagnostic procedures and therapies. Cochrane reviews can be lengthy but the structured abstract and plain language summary in each review provide quick overviews of the issues and final recommendations. Another location for searching out Cochrane reviews is MEDLINE. While the full text of the reviews is not available through this source, registrants may request a copy from the library staff or locate the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews title in the library’s list of e-journals and download the review.
Clinical Evidence from BMJ Group, like the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, is a database of systematic reviews but also contextualizes the reviews in a larger body of useful clinical information. Browse to a clinical condition, e.g., Raynaud's phenomenon, and view a one page summary of the review, summaries of interventions ranked by their effectiveness, background information about Raynaud's phenomenon, and a tabular view of the evaluation of all therapeutic interventions considered for this condition. Clinical Evidence content arises from systematic and rigorous searching of the international literature on common clinical situations and therefore is a valuable and practical tool.
PubMed Health is a new free database designed for the public and practitioners. It aggregates high levels of evidence published by select institutions such as DARE (Database of Reviews of Effects) and NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) from the UK, the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and the Cochrane Collaboration. Search results can be filtered by consumer information, clinical information from guidelines, and systematic reviews. This database appears to be small as yet; however, with the resources of the US National Library of Medicine behind it, PubMed Health may become an influential health information resource in the future.