Searching for the Evidence

Searching for the Evidence

Sources of Secondary, Synthesized Evidence

  • Cochrane Collaboration Reference
    International organization whose members conduct systematic reviews primarily of treatments. The Cochrane Handbook Reference outlines procedures for conducting reviews. The Cochrane Library Reference contains free abstracts of reviews.  Full text is also available by subscription.
  • NHS Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (CRD) Reference
    Freely available source of systematic reviews and technology assessments, including:
  • Health Services/Technology Assessment Text Reference
    Free, searchable online book allows full-text searching of AHRQ Evidence Reports, clinical practice and consumer guidelines, SAMHSA protocols, Surgeon General’s Reports and Statements from the NIH Consensus Development program.  (These reports can also be found through individual agency websites).  Sponsored by the National Library of Medicine. 
  • EPC Evidence Reports Reference
    Systematic reviews commissioned by the Association for Health Research and Quality (AHRQ) and conducted by the Evidence-Based Practice Centers. 
  • The Community Guide Reference (CDC)
    Free resource.  U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) works with partners to conduct systematic reviews of the effectiveness of community, environmental, population, and healthcare system interventions in public health and health promotion. These systematic reviews form the basis of recommendations for public health practice, policy, and research that are made by the Task Force on Community Preventive Services. 
  • Reference
    A free, searchable registry of systematic reviews on the effectiveness of public health and health promotion interventions. Funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to support decision-makers
  • Campbell Collaboration Reference
    International organization whose members conduct systematic reviews on social, educational and criminal justice topics.
  • OT Seeker Reference
    Database of abstracts of systematic reviews and RCTs relevant to occupational therapy.
  • UpToDate Reference
    Practical, current, easily accessible information on clinical topics to help clinicians care for patients.  Requires subscription.
  • Bandolier Reference
    Free website giving simple bullet points about treatments that work (and that don’t work).  Information comes from systematic reviews, meta-analyses, randomized trials, and from high quality observational studies culled from monthly searching of PubMed and the Cochrane Library. 
  • ACP Medicine Reference
    Online internal medicine textbook updated every month. Audience is practicing physicians. Requires a subscription. 
  • MD Consult Reference
    Online database providing access to journals, textbooks, and patient handouts. Also available is Nursing Consult Reference. Requires a subscription, which may be available through your local health sciences library.
  • InfoPOEMs Reference
    Each Daily InfoPOEM provides a critical appraisal and clinical bottom line of a recently-published research study. Paid subscription includes daily emails as well as access to a database of POEMs, practice guidelines, abstracts of Cochrane reviews, and other health information. Primary audience is physicians.
  • ACP Pier Reference
    American College of Physicians resource for physician information and education.  Lists evidence ratings and criteria.  Gives recommendations, rationale, and evidence ratings based upon recent research.  Includes coverage of some behavioral interventions, e.g., smoking cessation, depression treatment. Requires a subscription, but available through some health sciences libraries.

Resources to locate primary research literature

  • PubMed Reference
    A free search interface for the MEDLINE database, made available by National Library of Medicine. Covers major biomedical and health sciences journals since 1966. No charge to search for article citations and abstracts; has paid links to current full-text electronic journals. Additional links to full-text may be available through some health sciences libraries
  • PsycINFO Reference
    Covers psychological literature from the 1800s to present. Search results include citations and abstracts for journal articles, book chapters, and dissertations. Requires a subscription, but is available at many health and social sciences libraries.
  • CINAHL Reference
    Includes article citations and abstracts from major journals since 1982 in the areas of nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, respiratory technology, x-ray technology, and other allied health fields.  Requires a subscription, but is available at many health sciences libraries.
  • EMBASE Reference
    Contains citations (and abstracts, when available) for biomedical and health sciences journals since 1988. Some overlap with Medline but also contains unique content. Especially useful for finding journal literature from outside North America. Requires a subscription, but may be available through some large academic health sciences libraries.
  • TRIP Reference (Turning Research Into Practice)
    Free database that searches sources of systematic reviews and practice guidelines, as well as primary literature. Some search results may require a subscription to access full text.
  • SUM Search Reference
    Searches sources of health information on the Internet.
  • PEDro: The Physiotherapy Evidence Database Reference
  • EBM Search: Primary Care Electronic Library Reference
    Searches a number of sources of health information, including: Bandolier, Clinical Evidence, Cochrane, and others.
  • BMJ Evidence-Based Mental Health Reference
    Journal publishing evidence on mental health topics.  

Practice guidelines and Empirically Supported Practices