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Evidence-Based Practice in Health

This guide includes a tutorial about Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) in Health, a Reference Shelf of supporting eBooks, and a Toolkit of online sources of evidence.

Medline & PubMed: What's the Difference?

MEDLINE is the largest component of PubMed, the freely accessible online database of journal citations and abstracts created by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM). Approximately 5,400 journals published in the United States and more than 80 other countries have been selected and are currently indexed for MEDLINE.

A distinctive feature of MEDLINE is that the records are indexed with NLM's controlled vocabulary, the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH). 

A relatively small number of citations are available in PubMed and not MEDLINE.

Evidence-Based Practice Toolkit

Once you have formulated a search strategy you will need to select a resource (or resources) to search.  To quickly find the answer, you would usually first search filtered (pre-appraised) resources, beginning at the top of the evidence hierarchy, moving lower down the hierarchy if required.  If pre-appraised information is not available you will need to search unfiltered resources such as PubMed.

The EBP Toolkit aims to bring together all Evidence-Based online resources into a single entry point

Resources are listed according to the hierarchy of evidence provided by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC):


Filtered Resources: Meta-Search Engines

Meta-Search Engines simultaneously search multiple evidence-based sources.

Filtered Resources: Systematic Reviews / Meta Analyses

Filtered resources appraise the quality of studies and often make recommendations for practice.

Filtered Resources: Critically-Appraised Topics [Evidence Syntheses and Guidelines]

Authors of critically-appraised topics evaluate and synthesise multiple research studies.

Filtered Resources: Critically-Appraised Indivdual Articles [Article Synopses]

Authors of critically-appraised indivdual articles evaluate and synopsise individual research studies.

Unfiltered Resources: Randomised Controlled Trials (RCTs), Case Cohorts, Control Studies

Evidence is not always available from filtered resources and searching primary literature is sometimes required.  It is possible to use filters in PubMed and other databases to identify studies appropriate to the clinical question.