Wednesday, 28 September 2011

PubMed Health - A Growing Resource for Clinical Effectiveness Information

Now containing over 5,000 items, PubMed Health has developed further as a resource for clinical effectiveness research with its recent releases. PubMed Health has also begun a collection focused on helping people understand systematic reviews and their results. PubMed Health goals are helping users find the evidence that could answer their questions about effects of health care and helping them understand what they find.

Systematic reviews which identify and interpret studies on the effects of health care form an essential research basis for informed decision-making. Systematic reviewing has been growing, especially with the advent of The Cochrane Collaboration and the increasing incorporation of this methodology in health technology assessment by public agencies and clinical practice guideline development.

Systematic reviews (including health technology assessments) are often lengthy and highly technical. Their evolution has been accompanied by a growth in knowledge translation activity. Along with traditional abstracts, various forms have been developed to help people use systematic reviews: executive and policymaker summaries, summaries or other forms for patients/consumers and summaries for clinicians.

However, these materials have been scattered widely on content providers' Web sites without being collected centrally. Many of the systematic reviews undertaken by public health technology assessment agencies have also remained outside the National Library of Medicine system. The PubMed Health initiative is gathering them together within a single searchable resource.

PubMed Health contains systematic reviews and summaries of systematic reviews undertaken or updated in roughly the last ten years.

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