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Problem-based Learning & Finding the Evidence: Case 10: Cardio Block): Kelly Robinson -- 15-Love


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Kelly Robinson -- 15-Love

There are so many resources to choose from for this week's case.  The synthesized information tools, eMedicine & Up to Date, will cover many of these topics well.  In case Access Medicine doesn't help you find the background info you want, I have a couple of possibilities in the textbook section.


Resources for this Case

Textbooks (look left)

Synthesized Tools : Each Has its Strengths

National Organizations : Stats & Risk Calculators

PubMed Search Tips :  PICO style & Comparative Effectiveness Research

Flash Back to  Lab Texts - like Ferri's & Henry's

Patient Information Resources



Synthesized Clinical Tools

Up to Date or eMedicine?  Each Has its Advantages

You will find similar information in eMedicine and in Up to Date; however, how they present the information is very different.  Up to Date has an encyclopedic format where they try to use their outline to help you navigate.  eMedicine uses a chapter - sectional approach to help organize the information.  

A couple things I noticed:

  • eMedicine has a nice overview of the medicine used with MI - including separating the different types of drugs with an overview of each class.
  • Up to Date's outline format on the results page can sometimes help you jump right to what you need - like reperfusion. 

National Organizations -- Heart Disease

Organizations Providing Heart Disease Information & Calculators

The national organizations this week highlight a few organizations and a unique item them have to contribute towards understanding this week's case.


PubMed Search Tips: Reminders

PubMed Search -- Finding the Evidence About Therapy

-- PICO Style

This week's case lends itself to another PICO style question about treatment.  For example, perhaps you want to see some literature comparing stents to angioplasty (or better yet, balloon angioplasty). 

A few things to remember,

  • Be sure to spell out CAD - PubMed does not do well with abbreviations, but is getting better
  • Be more efficient -- specify the outcome of interest.  Is it survival? Or perhaps, heart attack?  Or something else?
  • Adjust that Publication setting to the highest level of evidence you think you might find - RCT? Systematic Review? Meta-Analysis? Practice Guideline?

This week, I've linked you to a mobile friendly version of PubMed that asks you to enter your search terms in the PICO format.  Give it a shot and see what you can find.  It is a plain text format, but don't let that throw you.


-- Comparative Effectiveness tool

A quickly growing research area is comparing treatment types and in recognition of this PubMed has built their Topic-Specific Queries tool for comparative effectiveness.  In this case, if you are not sure of the outcome you want, then simply compare the two treatments with these built-in filters.

From the main PubMed page, under PubMed Tools -- click on Topic-Specific Queries

and then choose the Comparative Effectiveness Research link.  Next, fill in the form with your treatments and choose the type of publication -- try for a systematic review or perhaps, the comparative effectiveness research filter.

PubMed & AEDs

Just a quick reminder about searching -- abbreviations can be confusing, so it helps to spell out the full name of what you want.  For example, AEDs.  Use automated external defibrillators instead of AEDs so you can get past the dermatology articles.  Want the evidence on using these?  Use the clinical trial (or more specific type of trial).  Or, do you want an opinion?  Use the editorial filter.

Lab Tests Info

Looking up information about the results of lab tests are mostly background questions.  The following resources are easy to use tools to find very reliable information about the normal values, reference ranges, and more.

MedlinePlus: Information Tool for Patients

MedlinePlus is a great place to find consumer-friendly materials along with directories, a dictionary & encyclopedia, and more.  Take a look and see what you find for smoking cessation.

Search MedlinePlus: