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Users' Guides to the Medical Literature
Guyatt G, Rennie D, Meade MO, Cook DJ
Part A The Foundations
Chapter 4. Finding the Evidence
Ann McKibbon, Peter Wyer, Roman Jaeschke, Dereck Hunt
Addressing Example Questions

Topics Discussed: asking clinical questions, background question, finding the evidence, foreground question, information resources, pico

Excerpt: "The rest of this chapter provides searching tips for question types and specific information resources. We concentrate on resources that are challenging to use effectively and that are readily available.Most background questions are often best answered by standard textbooks such as Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics, Benson's Current Obstetric and Gynecological Diagnoses and Treatments, and Lawrence's Essentials of General Surgery or innovative electronic texts such as UpToDate. To provide faster searching for background questions, some companies also group collections of textbooks together to be searched in tandem. Two major collections of medical texts are MDConsult ( and Stat!Ref ( These collections often include other resources besides textbooks.You can search small-sized resources using common words or phrases such as diseases or conditions and categories such as therapy or prognosis—their size makes them easy and efficient to search. For example, in ACP Journal Club, all of the 9 "house dust mite" articles can be found by putting in only "mites" as a searching word (Ovid MEDLINE and PubMed have approximately 10 000 articles on mites). Usually, some simple experimentation with a new system or a few tips from fellow users are sufficient for getting started. Continued experience with the resource usually hones searching skills...."
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