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Summaries

DEFINITION Summaries are so-called 'textbook-like' resources that summarize the evidence found in the first four bottom tiers of the 6S Pyramid. As such, they provide a higher level of evidence than those resources below them.

THE EVIDENCE Summaries are probably your best bet for finding the highest levels of evidence for common disease topics as Systems are still evolving (we'll look at this in the Systems module next). However, for new clinical findings and rare cases, you probably will have to search down the pyramid to locate the evidence as either there is not yet enough evidence to warrant a summary or it is too new to have been critically appraised at the various levels.

KEY RESOURCES FOR LOCATING SUMMARIES: Resources that fall into the Summaries category do not have particular search strategies as most are a single Google-like search box. These are marketed and used as point-of-care resources and are, therefore, meant to be quick and easy to search. The two major resources we'll look at are: 

Clinical practice guidelines also fall into Summaries, however, we won't be covering any of those today. If you want to check them out for yourself, try National Guideline Clearinghouse, or professional organization websites.


3) Kavanagh BP. The GRADE system for rating clinical guidelines. PLoS Med. 2009;6(9):e1000094.

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