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MDM/PPS Library Resources

This guide will help you learn how to find information for a clinical or patient care problem.


Type of Question


Type of Study/Methodology



Therapy: information needed about treatments (effectiveness, cost, etc.) 

Randomized Controlled Trial

Randomized Controlled Trial [PT]
double [TW] and blind [TW]

Diagnosis: information needed about a diagnostic test (sensitivity, accuracy, etc.)

Controlled Trial

Sensitivity and Specificity [MH]
Diagnosis [SH]

Prognosis: information needed about the course of the disease over time, expected complications, etc. 

Cohort Studies
Case Control
Case Series

Cohort Studies [MH]
Prognosis [MH]
Survival Analysis [MH]

Etiology/Harm: information needed about causes of disease or contributing factors of disease

Cohort Studies

Cohort Studies [MH]
Risk [TW]

Prevention: information needed about the prevention of disease (immunization, social factors, etc.)

Randomized Controlled Trial
Cohort Studies

Randomized Controlled Trial [PT]
Cohort Studies [MH]
Prevention and Control [SH]

Quality Improvement: information needed about clients' and health professionals' experiences and concerns

Randomized Controlled Trial

Randomized Controlled Trial [PT]
Practice Guideline [PT]
Consensus Development Conference [PT]

(Abbreviations: MH=Medical Subject Heading; PT=Publication Type; SH=Subheading; TW=Text Word)

*Content Courtesy of the UIC's EBM LibGuide

Filtered or


How To Find This Type of Information


-differ from traditional review articles in that conclusions are evidence-based rather than commentary

-start with a clearly articulated question

-use explicit, rigorous methods to identify, critically appraise, and synthesize relevant studies

-appraise relevant published and unpublished evidence before combining and analyzing data

-include description of how primary data sources are identified

-assess individual studies for validity

*Cochrane Collaboration
-Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
-York Database of Abstracts of
Reviews of Effectiveness
-Cochrane Controlled Trials Register
-Cochrane Review Methodology Database

-Review [PT] AND medline [TW]
-(Quantitative OR Systematic OR Methodologic)
AND (Review OR Overview)

*In PubMed Clinical Queries "Systematic Review" is available as a limit option.


-specific methodologic and statistical technique for combining quantitative data

-type of systematic overview

*Cochrane Collaboration

-Meta-analysis [PT]
-meta-anal* [TW] OR
-metaanal* [TW]


-gather, appraise, combine evidence systematically

-include statements designed to assist practitioner and patient decisions

-developed by professional groups, government agencies, local practices

-include a structured abstract: objective, option, outcomes, evidence, values, benefits/harms/costs, recommendation, validation, sponsors

*National Guideline Clearinghouse

*Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

*US Preventive Services Task Force Recommendations


-scan literature for clinically relevant studies

-critically appraise the studies

-provide commentary on strength of study and clinical significance

-provided in a one-page format

*EBM Reviews -- ACP Journal Club (UIC access via Journals)

*Essential EvidencePLUS - InfoPOEMS -- (UIC access via Databases A-Z)

*CATmaker software from CEBM


-studies that analyze decisions faced by clinicians for an individual patient, about clinical policy, or a global health care policy

-application of explicit, quantitative methods to analyze decisions under conditions of uncertainty

-risks and benefits of a decision are made fully explicit

-decision tree is included


-Decision Support Techniques [MH]

-Cost-Benefit Analysis [MH]

-decision analysis [TI]

*Content Courtesy of the UIC's EBM LibGuide