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Answering the clinical question
Resources to support evidence-based decision making include knowledge syntheses which appraise the quality of studies and often make recommendations for practice (practice guidelines, systematic reviews). For the most current research or to update past syntheses, use primary, original research studies to gather evidence.
Clinical practice guidelines
"Guidelines are developed to help health care professionals and patients make decisions about screening, prevention, or treatment of a specific health condition" National Cancer Institute.
CPG Critical Appraisal Tools: Not all Guidelines are created equal. Use your critical appraisal skills and the tools below to assess quality
This tool consists of 23 items organized within 6 domains followed by 2 global rating items (“Overall Assessment”) to assess the quality of a clinical practice guideline
AGREE II-GRS Instrument
A 5 item rating scale used to evaluate the quality and reporting of clinical practice guidelines. A practical alternative to the AGREE II tool when time and resources are limited.
Meta analyses and Systematic Reviews
Meta analyses and systematic reviews provide a high quality synthesis of published research and should incorporate the critical appraisal of all included studies
The Cochrane Collaboration prepares, maintains, and disseminates systematic up-to-date reviews of health care interventions.
PubMed Systematic review filter
Use the Article Type filter on the left side of the PubMed screen to limit to guidelines and systematic reviews or meta-analyses