If you’re looking for evidence-based research on clinical effectiveness, there’s a new resource for you: PubMed Health is a free service from the National Library of Medicine that provides access to clinical effectiveness research. This type of research, which includes clinical trials and systematic reviews, focuses on proving whether a given treatment or test really works. Knowing both the possible benefits and harms of an intervention can help clinicians and patients make better choices, and PubMed Health helps provide the evidence that’s needed to make these decisions.
PubMed Health provides a wide variety of information for both health professionals and patients. Information for clinicians is drawn from a number of sources, including the Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE), the UK’s National Institute for Clinical Excellence, the Cochrane Collaborative, and several other national and international partners. Most of the information is designed to provide quick answers to clinical questions, taking the form of reviews, clinical guides, and executive summaries, although full text reviews are also available.
Patients can also access reliable, evidence-based recommendations and information via PubMed Health. The “For Consumers” section contains thousands of brief, easy-to-read summaries of clinical research. The “Behind the Headlines” section reveals the facts behind the sometimes-sensationalized stories that appear in the popular media, like a recent report that sitting will make your bottom fat (according to PubMed Health, further research is needed before this conclusion can be drawn). A Medical Encyclopedia is also available for patients who want to learn more about a condition or a drug.
PubMed Health doesn’t replace PubMed for health professionals or MedlinePlus for patients, but it does provide quick access to information that is focused around questions of clinical effectiveness. Don’t forget that PubMed’s Clinical Queries tool also makes it easy to search for clinical studies and systematic reviews.
<submitted by Lisa Federer>