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by David L. Simel and Drummond Rennie, 744 pp, $59.95, New York, NY, McGraw-Hill (telephone: 800-722-4726), 2009, ISBN 978-0-07-159030.
Grading Key = outstanding; = excellent; = good; = fair; = poor
A multiauthored compendium of articles from the well-regarded JAMA series on evidence-based clinical diagnosis, with updates from the original authors.
More than 50 articles provide a rigorous systematic review of the evidence regarding test performance characteristics of clinical findings on a broad range of common medical conditions. Each article begins with a plausible clinical scenario, then proceeds to a brief description of the technique for eliciting the findings, a review of the available evidence, and concludes with a “bottom line” summary and resolution of the scenario. The chapter immediately following each original article provides a concise review of a recently updated literature search on the topic.
The range of topics covered and the clinical focus make this an eminently readable (and clinically useful) text. The rigorous and transparent methodology renders it an authoritative source. The authors plan to keep the material periodically updated via the JAMAevidence.com Web site.
Clinicians at every level will find this information useful in making sense of daily practice. Both teachers and students of physical diagnosis will also find it valuable.