Evidence Based Medicine Searching Strategies


What can you learn from EBM?

There are four main types of evidence based medicine literature:

Therapy research:Reports on the comparison of treatments for a particular condition. An example might be the comparison of the effectiveness of one drug to treat a particular illness with the effectiveness of another drug to treat the same illness. It represents the largest volume of EBM literature.
Diagnosis research:Measures the reliability of a particular diagnostic measure for a disease against the "gold standard" diagnostic measure for the same disease. Here the sensitivity and specificity of the measures are compared.
Etiology research:Compares a group exposed to a particular agent with an unexposed group. This literature is important for understanding the prevention and control of disease. There is less of this research because it presents some difficult ethical and logistical problems.
Prognosis research:Follows the progression of a group with a particular disease and compares it with the progression of a similar group without the particular disease. It is important to make the groups as similar as possible and to have follow up with more than 80 percent of each group.There is limited prognosis literature.

For the purposes of this tutorial, we will look for therapy-based EBM literature which compares drugs which have been used to treat headache pain. Keep notes as you develop your search terms because you will conduct a MEDLINE literature search as a part of this tutorial.

Connect to MEDLINE and lookat the broader and narrower terms for vascular headaches.

List the narrower terms for vascular headache.

Look at the scope note for migraine. When did migraine become a MeSH term?

Is drug therapy a MeSH term or a subheading?