PubMed for improvers
Fine tune your skills in literature surveys, as Kirsteen Burton and Lorraine Toews explain how
- By: Kirsteen Burton, Lorraine Toews
In my student directed learning group I've been assigned an evidence based learning task: “What is the effectiveness of chelation therapy for atherosclerosis in the elderly, aged 65 and over?”
The above type of common clinical question needs an evidence based answer, and, as introduced in Mohammad Al-Ubaydli's article,1 PubMed is a free search engine offered by the US National Library of Medicine. It is one of a number of efficient tools to begin a search of the huge corpus of medical literature. So, open PubMed's website (www.pubmed.gov) and in the search box enter “chelation atherosclerosis” and you find 81 articles. Even after applying PubMed limits for age (65 or over) and publication type (randomised controlled trial), you are down to seven papers. However, you've got exams looming in the next couple of weeks, clinical core sessions to attend, and this learning task to complete.
In an ideal world, you