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Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine Web Based Education: Evidence-Based Medicine

EBM Pyramid

How to Read a Paper series


Dr. Trisha Greenhalgh is a British physician and professor of medicine that wrote a series of excellent articles in the mid to late 1990's as the idea of finding, analyzing and using Best-Evidence from the literature was gaining in importance and prominence.  Although over 10 year old, her "How to Read a Paper" series of articles, published in the BMJ, still offer valid insight into increasing critical appraisal skills.  NOTE: SOME OF THESE ARTICLES BEGIN ON PAGE 2 OR 3 OF THE LINKED PDF FILE.

Greenhalgh, T. (1997). How to read a paper. getting your bearings (deciding what the paper is about). BMJ (Clinical Research Ed.), 315(7102), 243-246.

Greenhalgh, T. (1997). How to read a paper. papers that report diagnostic or screening tests. BMJ (Clinical Research Ed.), 315(7107), 540-543.

Greenhalgh, T. (1997). How to read a paper. papers that report drug trials. BMJ (Clinical Research Ed.), 315(7106), 480-483.

Greenhalgh, T. (1997). How to read a paper. statistics for the non-statistician. I: Different types of data need different statistical tests. BMJ (Clinical Research Ed.), 315(7104), 364-366.

Greenhalgh, T. (1997). How to read a paper. statistics for the non-statistician. II: "significant" relations and their pitfalls. BMJ (Clinical Research Ed.), 315(7105), 422-425.

Greenhalgh, T. (1997). How to read a paper. the medline database. BMJ (Clinical Research Ed.), 315(7101), 180-183.


How to read a paper: the basics of evidence-based medicine - Trisha Greenhalgh

ISBN: 9781444334364

Essential Resources for UMMS/UMMHC Users

Use this list as you would a ladder, working your way from the top down. Look for best evidence first in Cochrane Database and if you can't find good evidence there, continue down the list, understanding that the farther down you travel, the weaker the evidence you will find.  This list mirrors the EBM Pyramid on the left of this page.

  • The Cochrane Library - Full access to the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, the Central Register of Controlled Trials, DARE and other high-level, quality Evidence-Based resources.
  • DynaMed – Evidence-based clinical review summaries.
  • ACP Journal Club – Abstracts of articles containing strong evidence from within the primary literature.
  • UpToDate – Narratives synopsis, with emphasis on best-evidence, with a special focus on internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics and obstetrics and gynecology. (Click here for off-campus access)
  • U.S. Preventive Services Task Force – Database of evidence-based recommendations in areas of prevention and screening.
  • PubMed Clinical Queries – PubMed/MEDLINE search feature that filters results in order to display only articles backed by good evidence. NOTE: At the PubMed home page, choose the Clinical Queries option from the choices under "PubMed Tools."
  • National Guideline Clearinghouse – Collection of guidelines from the federal government Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and professional medical societies.
  • TRIP Database – An EBM search engine that searches across multiple Evidence-Based information sites. While not all findings are full-text, TRIP includes many unique resources such as "Bandolier" and guidelines not found through National Guideline Clearinghouse.
  • Natural Medicines (formerly Natural Standard) -  Graded evidence on complementary therapies.
  • 5 Minute Clinical Consult - 900+ clinial topics for quick, concise diagnosis and therapy answers.  Includes diagnostic flow charts.  Edited by Dr. Frank Domino and other members of the UMMS Department of Family Medicine & Community Health.
  • Medscape Reference – Background narratives, often with emphasis on best-evidence outcomes, covering topics across the medical and surgical spectrum.