(Clinical Summaries, Textbooks, etc.)
The best place to get up to speed on unfamiliar topics and to fill holes in your knowledge base. Several of these resources are (or act as) clinical textbooks with either brief or detailed entries on conditions and interventions. Keep an eye on currency; background resources are often a few years out of date.
(Meta-analyses, Systematic Reviews, Evidence-based Guidelines)
These sources summarize the medical literature by finding (via explicit, thorough literature search) and appraising relevant individual studies to answer a particular clinical question. In most cases, clinicians should initiate a search for answers to clinical questions with the secondary literature. We have placed evidence-based guidelines into this category; the best clinical guidelines can provide an answer to a clinical question based on the best evidence. Again, keep an eye on currency.
(Controlled Trials, Cohort Studies, Case Studies, etc.)
Primary literature is where researchers publish their findings first. In the health field this is usually journal articles outlining methodology, data, results, and conclusions. The evidence based approach emphasizes a hierarchy of evidence based on study types. When searching for single studies on a topic, clinicians should utilize database tools (limits and filters) to obtain the highest level of evidence to answer a clinical question.
How to request items not available online at Brown.