I know you have been thinking and searching in an evidence based way, but have you switched to thinking in a broader comparative effectiveness way? The mantra for EBP is “based on the evidence available to me today, I will practice.” The mantra for CER starts there and pays attention to real life settings and can have different sizes to the populations. So, for CER, the mantra chatted is, “what works best for what populations in real world settings.” EPB and CER involve experiences of the health care provider, what the literature shows and the preferences of the patient.
There are 4 main ways to search for CER information, PubMed Health, PubMed Topic Specific Queries-Comparative Effectiveness Research, ANDing effectiveness[sb] to your strategy, or just ANDing the phrase “comparative effectiveness“ to your search strategy.
PubMed Health http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/ searches in an clinical effectiveness way. It is geared for the lay public. It has topic reviews, systematic reviews, guidelines and a drug database. When you search PubMed Health, you are searching PubMed at the same time. Be more general in your search topic. It is not a huge database.
Get to PubMed Topic Specific Queries-Comparative Effectiveness Research from the PubMed front page or http://www.nlm.nih.gov/nichsr/cer/cerqueries.html. Put your topic in the search box and click on All for CER results. Notice also you can select a type of study, health disparities, costs and cost analysis or CER as topic.
ANDing effectiveness[sb] to your search strategy is the same as clicking on the Topic Specific Queries-CER page.
Remember you want to search PubMed with words, phrases and MeSH to retrieve all the citations, including inprocess, supplied by publisher or PubMed Central papers. So the phrase “comparative effectiveness” will bring citations for all of PubMed, including the MeSH term, comparative effectiveness research.
Try out any of these methods and send in your comments and questions.
Helen-Ann Brown Epstein