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Michigan State University

Evidence Based Medicine Guide

Information about and resources for evidence based medicine


Original primary research studies are the basis for the other types of evidence listed in this guide. There are many sources but biomedical literature databases such as PubMed, Embase, and CINAHL are the most often used.

Preappraised vs. Nonappraised

Preappraised sources have gone through a rigorous filtering process to assess their quality and currency.  These information sources are highly curated and include the summaries and synopses resources found on this guide.

Non-appraised sources may also include evidence based material, but remember that they may be outdated or of lower quality. An example of non-appraised sources are biomedical databases like PubMed. They do not critically evaluate what is in the database beyond if it is published in a journal chosen to be included in the database. Additionally, items are not removed due to date of publication or other factors.

Available at MSU - Nonappraised Resources

Preappraised sources of studies include many of the resources that syntheses are found in.  The following are nonappraised resources available at MSU.  They make use of special filters to limit search results to evidence based results.

Other Sources of Studies - Federated Searches

Federated searches sort evidence across a range of databases and are ideal for those who don't know which database is best suited to answer their clinical question.  The quality of search results depends on the sources, and many do not offer critical appraisals of the evidence.
  • TRIP (Turning Research Into Practice) Database - Simultaneously searches evidence-based sources of systematic reviews, practice guidelines, and crtically-appraised topics and articles - including many of the resources found elsewhere in this guide.  Also searches PubMed MEDLINE's Clinical Queries, medical image databases, e-textbooks, and patient information leaflets.