Library:Resources for Evidence Based Practice

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Prove It! Resources for Evidence Based Practice

EBM Research Guide:

EBM Research Guide

EBM/EBHC Definitions:

Evidence based medicine is the ... use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients. Evidence based clinical practice is an approach to decision making in which the clinician uses the best evidence available, in consultation with the patient, to decide upon the option which suits that patient best.
Sackett, David. L. Evidence based medicine: what it is and what it isn't. BMJ 1996;312:71-72 (13 January). Gray, M. Evidence- based healthcare: how to make health policy and management decisions. London : Churchill Livingstone, 1997.


Shaughnessy AF, Slawson DC, Bennett JH. Becoming an information master: a guidebook to the medical information jungle.

J Fam Pract. 1994 Nov;39(5):489-99.

Link to article for UBC Users:

Bandolier Website

Bandolier Website

"EBM is about tools, not about rules. Good evidence is likely to come from good systematic reviews of good clinical trials."

Drilling down for information

Grandage KK, Slawson DC, Shaughnessy AF. When less is more: a practical approach to searching for evidence-based answers. J Med Libr Assoc. 2002 July; 90 (3): 298–304

Link to article for UBC users

EBM Reviews (Ovid)

  • Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (CDSR)
  • Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE)
  • Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL)
  • ACP Journal Club (ACP)

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

  • Prepared by the Cochrane Collaboration, regularly updated.
  • Full-text (click the Topic Review link).
  • Reviews are presented in two types:
  1. Complete reviews
  2. Protocols (no conclusions yet, but includes the background, objectives and methods of reviews in preparation.)

Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE)

  • DARE is a full-text database containing critical assessments of systematic reviews from a variety of medical journals.
  • Does NOT contain the full-text of the original systematic review articles.
  • Produced by the expert reviewers and information staff of the National Health Services' Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (NHS CRD) at the University of York, England, and consists of structured abstracts of systematic reviews from all over the world.
  • DARE records cover topics such as diagnosis, prevention, rehabilitation, screening, and treatment.

Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL)

  • A database of ~350,000 controlled trials and other healthcare interventions that serves as the best available resource for those preparing and maintaining systematic reviews or searching for trials.
  • CENTRAL includes citations that may not be indexed in MEDLINE, EMBASE, or other bibliographic databases, citations published internationally in many languages, and citations that are available in conference proceedings or other hard to access sources.

ACP Journal Club (ACP)

  • A publication of the American College of Physicians.
  • Editors apply the strictest criteria for study design to review over 90 journals in internal medicine and other specialities such as psychiatry, ophthalmology, gynaecology, and surgery and choose only those articles that meet strict criteria for study design.
  • Articles are summarised in "value-added" abstracts and commented on by clinical experts. Does NOT contain the full-text of the original articles.

Clinical Evidence (BMJ Publishing Group)

  • Full-text, contains ~200 topics continuously updated, with full literature searches in each topic every eight months.
  • Has been called the friendly front end of the Cochrane Library, because it takes this and other high quality information and pulls it together in one place in a concise format.
  • C.E. first identifies important clinical questions, then searches for and summarises the best available evidence to answer them; emphasises the important trade-off between advantages and disadvantages of different treatment options.


  • Full-text, free online version of the UK journal, produced at the Pain Research Unit, University of Oxford.
  • Searches Pubmed and Cochrane Library for systematic reviews and meta-analyses, and attempts to make the findings comprehensible.
  • Article reviews often give a clinical bottom line at the very beginning - handy for speedy decision-making.
  • Website includes a useful EBM glossary.

PICO Model for Developing Clinical Questions

  • Patient (or Population)
  • Intervention being considered
  • Comparison (if appropriate) to the Gold Standard or another alternative intervention
  • Outcome

Develop your Question

  • e.g.:
    "For adult patients with hypertension, does daily garlic supplementation, compared to use of beta blockers, reduce blood pressure to acceptable levels?"