Grow your knowledge.
When you have a clinical question, you’ll need to find studies to answer it. There are a variety of different databases you can search to find evidence.
- Learn how to build a clinical question to help you search PubMed and other scientific databases.
- After you have identified articles to answer your clinical question, you will want to appraise them to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses.
- Critically appraising an article assesses the usefulness and validity of the findings and whether or not you can apply the research into your clinical practice.
- We have provided instructions for how to approach the appraisal process for different types of articles.
- For training purposes, we present clinical scenarios with selected articles as well as worksheets that outline a systematic method of critical appraisal.
- Completed worksheets are also included as examples so you can check your answers as you develop your skills.
Below are a few resources we recommend.
Critical Appraisal Practice Modules
There are a number of resources you can use to stay current and do so automatically. For example, PubMed offers a free service called MyNCBI. When you sign up for this service, you can set it up to email any study that gets published fitting search criteria that you create. Below are some helpful push services.
Patient-Reported Outcome Assessments
Public domain resources to assess and objectively measure your patients’ pain, disability and improvements.
- Rand SF36
- Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire (RMDQ)
- Visual Analog Scale (VAS)
- OswestryLow Back Pain Questionnaire
- Numeric Pain Rating Scale (NPRS)
- Neck Disability Index(NDI)
- Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information Systems – PROMIS
- STarTBack Screening Tool
- Fear-Avoidance Belief Questionnaire (FABQ)
- Patient-Health Questionnaire and General Anxiety Disorder (PHQ-9, GAD 7)
Journal Search Engines
When you have a clinical question, you’ll need to find studies to answer it. There are a variety of different databases that you can search to find evidence. MEDLINE database is a first choice for many and it can be accessed through PubMed. This database is managed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health. There are Federated Search Engines such as ACCESSSS and TripDatabase. These search engines access a variety of databases and aggregate the results. Searching databases takes a little practice so don’t get discouraged. A librarian can be very helpful.