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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Donald R. Frey, MD (Creighton University Medical Center)
Description: This concise manual is a compilation of a series of groundbreaking articles, published first in the Canadian Medical Association Journal and later in JAMA dealing with ways in which busy clinicians can critically evaluate the medical literature and quickly translate new information into practice. Updated with new studies, the manual presents this information in a single seamless text.
Purpose: The book seeks to guide clinicians in the use of evidence-based principles to critically evalute the medical literature, and translate new information into daily practice. The book succeeds in presenting this vital information in an easy to read, user-friendly fashion.
Audience: Written primarily for practicing physicians, the book will also be useful to students and residents who are trying to translate their journal reading into a mode they can continue once they are in active practices. The lead author is a noted JAMA editor, and the multiple contributors represent a cross-section of the world's medical scholars.
Features: The book presents a systematic approach to evaluating the medical literature. The importance of critical appraisal is stressed, with issues such as test bias, validity, and errors underscored. At the conclusion of each key point, the concept of how the particular issue is relevant to day-to-day practice is addressed. At the conclusion of the book, an extensive and very well done glossary of common research terms is included, which is very useful.
Assessment: This concise manual packs an impressive amount of information on evidence-based medicine and practical literature review into relatively few pages. Many clinicans would easily be able to peruse the book — and find much useful information — in a single sitting. Yet the book also serves as a useful reference on evidence-based clinical practice as well. Busy clinicians who yearn to better understand the world of research outcomes — that is to say, most of us — will find this book practical, useful, and very enlightening.