PubMed’s Clinical Queries: Using Evidence Based Medicine in Clinical Situations

Clinical CornerclinicalqueriesscreenshotPubMed’s Clinical Queries can save you time when trying to incorporate evidence based medicine or evidence based practice into the fast-paced and time sensitive clinical environment or other patient settings.  Clinical Queries gives you a fast and easy way to throw in a few search terms and limit to one of five categories – Therapy, Etiology (Harm/Causation), Prognosis, Diagnosis, & Clinical Prediction Guide – and begin to see some of the best types of articles related to the category and your search terms.  Clinical Queries also allows you to limit the scope of your search to Broad/Sensitive – where the search includes more citations even if they may be more peripheral or less relevant – or Narrow/Specific – where the search may miss some citations but is trying to identify the most relevant core citations.  When you search Clinical Queries to find citations concerning the prevention of deep vein thrombosis (dvt) with the use of compression stockings during traveling, you’ll get results similar to this (Table results searched as of 3/25/2013).

Number of PubMed Citations Found: Search Strategy by Category & Scope
Clinical Query
Therapy Etiology
(Harm / Causation)
Diagnosis Clinical Prediction Guide
Broad Narrow Broad Narrow Broad Narrow Broad Narrow Broad Narrow
deep vein thrombosis 12166 3333 28459 2227 26308 3268 22434 1110 9529 253
deep vein thrombosis AND
compression stockings
183 51 572 114 597 82 242 4 136 5
deep vein thrombosis AND
compression stockings AND
8 4 26 4 39 9 5 0 7 0

You can see that as you add applicable search terms with the Boolean operator ‘AND’ you can quickly  reduce the number of appropriate citations that you’ll need to wade through to find good relevant evidence to support or deny the use of compression stockings to prevent (prognosis) DVT when traveling.

If this is new to you, schedule a consultation with one of our librarians for more info about using Clinical Queries as well as other searching tips and tricks we can help you with.

[John Jones, Librarian]