PDQ Evidence-Based Principles and Practice

Ann McKibbon, BSc, MLS

Associate Professor
Department of Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics
Health Information Research Unit
Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics
McMaster University
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Nancy Wilczynski, MSc, PhD

Departments of Radiation Oncology
and Radiology
Department of Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics
McMaster University
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

PDQ Evidence-Based Principles and Practice, second edition, addresses the concepts of evidence-based health care in a non-technical manner. One of its two major purposes is to provide a background to understand health care research and how best to evaluate and apply new research findings in health. The audience is librarians and other information professionals who work with health professionals. Clinicians seeking a gentle approach to working with health research findings will also benefit.

PDQ Evidence-Based Principles and Practice outlines how to identify important studies in health care published in the large bibliographic databases such as MEDLINE. Proven and validated search strategies for use in the large electronic biomedical databases have been included in the edition. Lists of possible searching terms have been enhanced and enlarged. The authors added an appendix of terms using plain-language descriptions, as well as searching tips and sites for retrieval in the categories of health research.

This book helps the reader develop optimal, effective MEDLINE search strategies. It offers step-by-step suggestions for retrieving sound clinical studies on the etiology, prognosis, diagnosis, prevention, and management of disorders encountered in adult general medicine.

Doody's 5-Star Rating

Key Features

    • Non-technical introduction to the concepts of evidence-based health care
    • Provides a background to understanding health care research
    • Provides a guide for evaluating health care research
    • Provides searching tips and techniques to enhance and speed searching for health care research in the large electronic databases
    • Collects searching terms effective for retrieval of clinically important material from MEDLINE and related databases

Doody’s Book Review February 2010

Elizabeth Connor, MLS, AHIP (The Citadel)

This handy, practical, and invaluable guide provides context and proven search strategies for individuals interested in understanding and using the scientific literature to answer clinical questions.

The coeditors maintain the two objectives that were achieved with the first edition: to explain the theories and principles of evidence-based healthcare and to suggest effective search terms and strategies needed to find the small percentage of the biomedical literature that can be applied to patient care.

This book is intended for health sciences librarians and health professionals engaged in expert searching of the biomedical literature and involved in teaching others about evidence-based healthcare. The searching exercises also can be adapted for classroom use for students in the health professions and information science fields.

This second edition incorporates updates and includes four new chapters, on clinical prediction guides; decision analyses; differential diagnosis and disease manifestation; and secondary publications: health technology assessment. Many readers will appreciate the information related to research publication categories, statistical methods, and the gray literature. A typical chapter includes introductory information, clinical example(s), methodological issues, searching methodology, search terms specific to Medline, CINAHL, Embase, and PsycINFO, proven search filters/hedges, searching exercises, and pertinent bibliographic references. The book also features a splendid glossary that defines and cross-references significant terms to specific chapter content, searching exercises for chapters 2 through 13, and an index.

The authors are well known in the health sciences library world, and with colleagues at McMaster University, have authored seminal works on expert searching of the medical literature. The conciseness of this work and its focus on practical searching techniques make it unique. It can be slipped into a lab coat pocket, or kept next to the keyboard for easy consultation. Highly recommended.


Weighted Numerical Score: 97 – 5 Stars!

$41.95 Add To Cart
Book Details

298 pages


5 in. x 8.5 in.

Publication Date June 2009

Health science librarians, educators and instructors

ISBN 9781607950066
eISBN 9781607950851