To practice Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM), physicians must quickly retrieve evidence to inform medical decisions. Internal Medicine (IM) residents receive little formal education in electronic database searching, and have identified poor searching skills as a barrier to practicing EBM.
To design and implement a database searching tutorial for IM residents on inpatient rotations and to evaluate its impact on residents’ skill and comfort searching MEDLINE and filtered EBM resources.
Randomized controlled trial. Residents randomized to the searching tutorial met for up to 6 1-hour small group sessions to search for answers to questions about current hospitalized patients.
Second- and 3rd-year IM residents.
Residents in both groups completed an Objective Structured Searching Evaluation (OSSE), searching for primary evidence to answer 5 clinical questions. OSSE outcomes were the number of successful searches, search times, and techniques utilized. Participants also completed self-assessment surveys measuring frequency and comfort using EBM databases.
During the OSSE, residents who participated in the intervention utilized more searching techniques overall (p < .01) and used PubMed’s Clinical Queries more often (p < .001) than control residents. Searching “success” and time per completed search did not differ between groups. Compared with controls, intervention residents reported greater comfort using MEDLINE (p < .05) and the Cochrane Library (p < .05) on post-intervention surveys. The groups did not differ in comfort using ACP Journal Club, or in self-reported frequency of use of any databases.
An inpatient EBM searching tutorial improved searching techniques of IM residents and resulted in increased comfort with MEDLINE and the Cochrane Library, but did not impact overall searching success.
evidence-based medicine; medical education; internship and residency; searching
Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use is growing rapidly. As CAM is relatively unregulated, it is important to evaluate the type and availability of CAM information. The goal of this study is to deter-mine the prevalence, content and readability of online CAM information based on searches for arthritis, diabetes and fibromyalgia using four common search engines. Fifty-eight of 599 web pages retrieved by a "condition search" (9.6%) were CAM-oriented. Of 216 CAM pages found by the "condition" and "condition + herbs" searches, 78% were authored by commercial organizations, whose pur-pose involved commerce 69% of the time and 52.3% had no references. Although 98% of the CAM information was intended for consumers, the mean read-ability was at grade level 11. We conclude that consumers searching the web for health information are likely to encounter consumer-oriented CAM advertising, which is difficult to read and is not supported by the conventional literature.
Background: The amount of reliable information available for complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is limited, and few authoritative resources are available.
Objective: The objective is to investigate the information-seeking behavior of health professionals seeking CAM information.
Methods: Data were gathered using a Web-based questionnaire made available to health sciences faculty affiliated with the University of California, San Francisco.
Results: The areas of greatest interest were herbal medicine (67%), relaxation exercises (53%), and acupuncture (52%). About half the respondents perceived their CAM searches as being only partially successful. Eighty-two percent rated MEDLINE as a useful resource, 46% personal contacts with colleagues, 46% the Web, 40% journals, and 20% textbooks. Books and databases most frequently cited as useful had information about herbs. The largest group of respondents was in internal medicine (26%), though 15% identified their specialties as psychiatry, psychology, behavioral medicine, or addiction medicine. There was no correlation between specialty and patterns of information-seeking behavior. Sixty-six percent expressed an interest in learning more about CAM resources.
Conclusions: Health professionals are frequently unable to locate the CAM information they need, and the majority have little knowledge of existing CAM resources, relying instead on MEDLINE. Medical librarians need to educate health professionals in the identification and use of authoritative CAM resources.
Many users search the Internet for answers to health questions. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is a particularly common search topic. Because many CAM therapies do not require a clinician's prescription, false or misleading CAM information may be more dangerous than information about traditional therapies. Many quality criteria have been suggested to filter out potentially harmful online health information. However, assessing the accuracy of CAM information is uniquely challenging since CAM is generally not supported by conventional literature.
The purpose of this study is to determine whether domain-independent technical quality criteria can identify potentially harmful online CAM content.
We analyzed 150 Web sites retrieved from a search for the three most popular herbs: ginseng, ginkgo and St. John's wort and their purported uses on the ten most commonly used search engines. The presence of technical quality criteria as well as potentially harmful statements (commissions) and vital information that should have been mentioned (omissions) was recorded.
Thirty-eight sites (25%) contained statements that could lead to direct physical harm if acted upon. One hundred forty five sites (97%) had omitted information. We found no relationship between technical quality criteria and potentially harmful information.
Current technical quality criteria do not identify potentially harmful CAM information online. Consumers should be warned to use other means of validation or to trust only known sites. Quality criteria that consider the uniqueness of CAM must be developed and validated.
Quality; harm; Internet; medical information; World Wide Web; complementary and alternative medicine
Substantial recent research examines the efficacy of many types of complementary and alternative (CAM) therapies. However, outcomes associated with the "real-world" use of CAM has been largely overlooked, despite calls for CAM therapies to be studied in the manner in which they are practiced. Americans seek CAM treatments far more often for chronic musculoskeletal pain (CMP) than for any other condition. Among CAM treatments for CMP, acupuncture and chiropractic (A/C) care are among those with the highest acceptance by physician groups and the best evidence to support their use. Further, recent alarming increases in delivery of opioid treatment and surgical interventions for chronic pain--despite their high costs, potential adverse effects, and modest efficacy--suggests the need to evaluate real world outcomes associated with promising non-pharmacological/non-surgical CAM treatments for CMP, which are often well accepted by patients and increasingly used in the community.
This multi-phase, mixed methods study will: (1) conduct a retrospective study using information from electronic medical records (EMRs) of a large HMO to identify unique clusters of patients with CMP (e.g., those with differing demographics, histories of pain condition, use of allopathic and CAM health services, and comorbidity profiles) that may be associated with different propensities for A/C utilization and/or differential outcomes associated with such care; (2) use qualitative interviews to explore allopathic providers' recommendations for A/C and patients' decisions to pursue and retain CAM care; and (3) prospectively evaluate health services/costs and broader clinical and functional outcomes associated with the receipt of A/C relative to carefully matched comparison participants receiving traditional CMP services. Sensitivity analyses will compare methods relying solely on EMR-derived data versus analyses supplementing EMR data with conventionally collected patient and clinician data.
Successful completion of these aggregate aims will provide an evaluation of outcomes associated with the real-world use of A/C services. The trio of retrospective, qualitative, and prospective study will also provide a clearer understanding of the decision-making processes behind the use of A/C for CMP and a transportable methodology that can be applied to other health care settings, CAM treatments, and clinical populations.
There have been no published national studies on the use in Australia of the manipulative therapies, acupuncture, chiropractic or osteopathy, or on matters including the purposes for which these therapies are used, treatment outcomes and the socio-demographic characteristics of users.
This study on the three manipulative therapies was a component of a broader investigation on the use of complementary and alternative therapies. For this we conducted a cross-sectional, population survey on a representative sample of 1,067 adults from the six states and two territories of Australia in 2005 by computer-assisted telephone interviews. The sample was recruited by random digit dialling.
Over a 12-month period, approximately one in four adult Australians used either acupuncture (9.2%), chiropractic (16.1%) or osteopathy (4.6%) at least once. It is estimated that, adult Australians made 32.3 million visits to acupuncturists, chiropractors and osteopaths, incurring personal expenditure estimated to be A$1.58 billion in total. The most common conditions treated were back pain and related problems and over 90% of the users of each therapy considered their treatment to be very or somewhat helpful. Adverse events are reported. Nearly one fifth of users were referred to manipulative therapy practitioners by medical practitioners.
There is substantial use of manipulative therapies by adult Australians, especially for back-related problems. Treatments incur considerable personal expenditure. In general, patient experience is positive. Referral by medical practitioners is a major determinant of use of these manipulative therapies.
The objective of this article was to review the literature on the use of chiropractic for the treatment of lumbar spinal stenosis.
A literature search was conducted on 4 electronic databases (Medline, Index to Chiropractic Literature, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, and Allied and Complementary Medicine Database) for clinical research pertaining to chiropractic treatment of lumbar spinal stenosis. Retrieved articles were hand searched for relevant references. Inclusion criteria consisted of any clinical study design (including case reports) using chiropractic care on patients with lumbar spinal stenosis published in English in the past 25 years.
Six articles on a total of 70 patients met the inclusion criteria for the review. These articles included 4 case studies, a case series, and an observational cohort study. Treatments included spinal manipulation and, most often, flexion-distraction manipulation. Numerous other interventions including exercise, activity of daily living modifications, and various passive care modalities were selectively used in the included studies.
There is a paucity of evidence available with respect to chiropractic treatment of spinal stenosis. The limited evidence that is available points toward chiropractic care being potentially beneficial in the treatment of patients with lumbar spinal stenosis, but further clinical investigations are necessary.
Spinal stenosis; Chiropractic; Manipulation, Spinal; Review literature
It can be difficult for occupational health professionals to assess which toxicological databases available on the Internet are the most useful for answering their questions. Therefore we evaluated toxicological databases for their ability to answer practical questions about exposure and prevention. We also propose recommended practices for searching for toxicological properties of chemicals.
We used a systematic search to find databases available on the Internet. Our criteria for the databases were the following: has a search engine, includes factual information on toxic and hazardous chemicals harmful for human health, and is free of charge. We developed both a qualitative and a quantitative rating method, which was used by four independent assessors to determine appropriateness, the quality of content, and ease of use of the database. Final ratings were based on a consensus of at least two evaluators.
Out of 822 results we found 21 databases that met our inclusion criteria. Out of these 21 databases 14 are administered in the US, five in Europe, one in Australia, and one in Canada. Nine are administered by a governmental organization. No database achieved the maximum score of 27. The databases GESTIS, ESIS, Hazardous Substances Data Bank, TOXNET and NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards all scored more than 20 points. The following approach was developed for occupational health professionals searching for the toxicological properties of chemicals: start with the identity of the chemical; then search for health hazards, exposure route and measurement; next the limit values; and finally look for the preventive measures.
A rating system of toxicological databases to assess their value for occupational health professionals discriminated well between databases in terms of their appropriateness, quality of information, and ease of use. Several American and European databases yielded high scores and provide a valuable source for occupational health professionals.
Psychostimulants are first line of therapy for paediatric and adolescent AD/HD. The evidence suggests that up to 30% of those prescribed stimulant medications do not show clinically significant outcomes. In addition, many children and adolescents experience side-effects from these medications. As a result, parents are seeking alternate interventions for their children. Complementary and alternative medicine therapies for behavioural disorders such as AD/HD are increasing with as many as 68% of parents having sought help from alternative practitioners, including chiropractors.
The review seeks to answer the question of whether chiropractic care can reduce symptoms of inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity for paediatric and adolescent AD/HD.
Electronic databases (Cochrane CENTRAL register of Controlled Trials, Cochrane Database of Systematic reviews, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, CINAHL, Scopus, ISI Web of Science, Index to Chiropractic Literature) were searched from inception until July 2009 for English language studies for chiropractic care and AD/HD. Inclusion and exclusion criteria were applied to select studies. All randomised controlled trials were evaluated using the Jadad score and a checklist developed from the CONSORT (Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials) guidelines.
The search yielded 58 citations of which 22 were intervention studies. Of these, only three studies were identified for paediatric and adolescent AD/HD cohorts. The methodological quality was poor and none of the studies qualified using inclusion criteria.
To date there is insufficient evidence to evaluate the efficacy of chiropractic care for paediatric and adolescent AD/HD. The claim that chiropractic care improves paediatric and adolescent AD/HD, is only supported by low levels of scientific evidence. In the interest of paediatric and adolescent health, if chiropractic care for AD/HD is to continue, more rigorous scientific research needs to be undertaken to examine the efficacy and effectiveness of chiropractic treatment. Adequately-sized RCTs using clinically relevant outcomes and standardised measures to examine the effectiveness of chiropractic care verses no-treatment/placebo control or standard care (pharmacological and psychosocial care) are needed to determine whether chiropractic care is an effective alternative intervention for paediatric and adolescent AD/HD.
This project aims to assess the utility of bibliographic databases beyond the three major ones (MEDLINE, EMBASE and Cochrane CENTRAL) for finding controlled trials of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Fifteen databases were searched to identify controlled clinical trials (CCTs) of CAM not also indexed in MEDLINE. Searches were conducted in May 2006 using the revised Cochrane highly sensitive search strategy (HSSS) and the PubMed CAM Subset. Yield of CAM trials per 100 records was determined, and databases were compared over a standardized period (2005). The Acudoc2 RCT, Acubriefs, Index to Chiropractic Literature (ICL) and Hom-Inform databases had the highest concentrations of non-MEDLINE records, with more than 100 non-MEDLINE records per 500. Other productive databases had ratios between 500 and 1500 records to 100 non-MEDLINE records—these were AMED, MANTIS, PsycINFO, CINAHL, Global Health and Alt HealthWatch. Five databases were found to be unproductive: AGRICOLA, CAIRSS, Datadiwan, Herb Research Foundation and IBIDS. Acudoc2 RCT yielded 100 CAM trials in the most recent 100 records screened. Acubriefs, AMED, Hom-Inform, MANTIS, PsycINFO and CINAHL had more than 25 CAM trials per 100 records screened. Global Health, ICL and Alt HealthWatch were below 25 in yield. There were 255 non-MEDLINE trials from eight databases in 2005, with only 10% indexed in more than one database. Yield varied greatly between databases; the most productive databases from both sampling methods were Acubriefs, Acudoc2 RCT, AMED and CINAHL. Low overlap between databases indicates comprehensive CAM literature searches will require multiple databases.
Mood disorders are a major public health problem and are associated with considerable burden of disease, suicides, physical comorbidities, high economic costs, and poor quality of life. Approximately 30%–40% of patients with major depression have only a partial response to available pharmacological and psychotherapeutic interventions. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has been used either alone or in combination with conventional therapies in patients with mood disorders. This review of the literature examines evidence-based data on the use of CAM in mood disorders. A search of the PubMed, Medline, Google Scholar, and Quertile databases using keywords was conducted, and relevant articles published in the English language in the peer-reviewed journals over the past two decades were retrieved. Evidence-based data suggest that light therapy, St John’s wort, Rhodiola rosea, omega-3 fatty acids, yoga, acupuncture, mindfulness therapies, exercise, sleep deprivation, and S-adenosylmethionine are effective in the treatment of mood disorders. Clinical trials of vitamin B complex, vitamin D, and methylfolate found that, while these were useful in physical illness, results were equivocal in patients with mood disorders. Studies support the adjunctive role of omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid, and docosahexaenoic acid in unipolar and bipolar depression, although manic symptoms are not affected and higher doses are required in patients with resistant bipolar depression and rapid cycling. Omega-3 fatty acids are useful in pregnant women with major depression, and have no adverse effects on the fetus. Choline, inositol, 5-hydroxy-L-tryptophan, and N-acetylcysteine are effective adjuncts in bipolar patients. Dehydroepiandrosterone is effective both in bipolar depression and depression in the setting of comorbid physical disease, although doses should be titrated to avoid adverse effects. Ayurvedic and homeopathic therapies have the potential to improve symptoms of depression, although larger controlled trials are needed. Mind-body-spirit and integrative medicine approaches can be used effectively in mild to moderate depression and in treatment-resistant depression. Currently, although CAM therapies are not the primary treatment of mood disorders, level 1 evidence could emerge in the future showing that such treatments are effective.
complementary and alternative medicine; mood disorders; Ayurveda; homeopathy; integrative medicine
The term "Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM)" covers a variety of approaches to medical theory and practice, which are not commonly accepted by representatives of conventional medicine. In the past two decades, these approaches have been studied in various areas of medicine. Although there appears to be a growing number of scientific publications on CAM, the complete spectrum of complementary therapies still requires more information about published evidence. A majority of these research publications are still not listed in electronic bibliographical databases such as MEDLINE. However, with a growing demand by patients for such therapies, physicians increasingly need an overview of scientific publications on CAM. Bearing this in mind, CAMbase, a bibliographical database on CAM was launched in order to close this gap. It can be accessed online free of charge or additional costs.
The user can peruse more than 80,000 records from over 30 journals and periodicals on CAM, which are stored in CAMbase. A special search engine performing syntactical and semantical analysis of textual phrases allows the user quickly to find relevant bibliographical information on CAM. Between August 2003 and July 2006, 43,299 search queries, an average of 38 search queries per day, were registered focussing on CAM topics such as acupuncture, cancer or general safety aspects. Analysis of the requests led to the conclusion that CAMbase is not only used by scientists and researchers but also by physicians and patients who want to find out more about CAM.
Closely related to this effort is our aim to establish a modern library center on Complementary Medicine which offers the complete spectrum of a modern digital library including a document delivery-service for physicians, therapists, scientists and researchers.
Supporting 21st century health care and the practice of evidence-based medicine (EBM) requires ubiquitous access to clinical information and to knowledge-based resources to answer clinical questions. Many questions go unanswered, however, due to lack of skills in formulating questions, crafting effective search strategies, and accessing databases to identify best levels of evidence.
This randomized trial was designed as a pilot study to measure the relevancy of search results using three different interfaces for the PubMed search system. Two of the search interfaces utilized a specific framework called PICO, which was designed to focus clinical questions and to prompt for publication type or type of question asked. The third interface was the standard PubMed interface readily available on the Web. Study subjects were recruited from interns and residents on an inpatient general medicine rotation at an academic medical center in the US. Thirty-one subjects were randomized to one of the three interfaces, given 3 clinical questions, and asked to search PubMed for a set of relevant articles that would provide an answer for each question. The success of the search results was determined by a precision score, which compared the number of relevant or gold standard articles retrieved in a result set to the total number of articles retrieved in that set.
Participants using the PICO templates (Protocol A or Protocol B) had higher precision scores for each question than the participants who used Protocol C, the standard PubMed Web interface. (Question 1: A = 35%, B = 28%, C = 20%; Question 2: A = 5%, B = 6%, C = 4%; Question 3: A = 1%, B = 0%, C = 0%) 95% confidence intervals were calculated for the precision for each question using a lower boundary of zero. However, the 95% confidence limits were overlapping, suggesting no statistical difference between the groups.
Due to the small number of searches for each arm, this pilot study could not demonstrate a statistically significant difference between the search protocols. However there was a trend towards higher precision that needs to be investigated in a larger study to determine if PICO can improve the relevancy of search results.
The purpose of this article was to perform a narrative review of the chiropractic literature regarding older patients between 2001 and 2010.
A three step search strategy of the literature involved electronic searching, hand searching and reference tracking.
One hundred and eighty eight articles germane to chiropractic geriatric practice and education were retrieved.
Compared to the review of the literature conducted prior to 2000, the number of references on chiropractic geriatric education increased from 3 to 11, the number of demographic studies increased from 9 to 18, the number of case reports increased from 25 to 83, the number of clinical trials increased from 4 to 21 (only two RCTs found) and the number of references on clinical guidelines and general clinical information increased from 18 to 55.
This review found 188 retrievable articles available to practitioners to effectively care plan for their older patients, a better than three fold increase in the number of references found during a similar review conducted at the end of the previous decade. However, there is clearly a gap in the evidence base of chiropractic geriatric care, particularly the under-representation of clinical trials of all kinds involving older chiropractic patients.
geriatric; chiropractic; older patient; gériatrique; chiropractie; patient plus âgé
Evidence-based practice has had a growing impact on chiropractic education and the delivery of chiropractic care. For evidence-based practice to penetrate and transform a profession, the penetration must occur at 2 levels. One level is the degree to which individual practitioners possess the willingness and basic skills to search and assess the literature. Chiropractic education received a significant boost in this realm in 2005 when the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine awarded 4 chiropractic institutions R25 education grants to strengthen their research/evidence-based practice curricula. The second level relates to whether the therapeutic interventions commonly employed by a particular health care discipline are supported by clinical research. A growing body of randomized controlled trials provides evidence of the effectiveness and safety of manual therapies.
evidence-based; evidence-based practice; evidence-based medicine; chiropractic; curriculum; effectiveness
Complementary and alternative therapies and medicines (CAM) such as acupuncture or mistletoe treatment are much asked for by cancer patients. With a growing interest in such therapies, physicians need a simple tool with which to get an overview of the scientific publications on CAM, particularly those that are not listed in common bibliographic databases like MEDLINE. CAMbase is an XML-based bibliographical database on CAM which serves to address this need. A custom front end search engine performs semantic analysis of textual input enabling users to quickly find information relevant to the search queries. This article describes the technical background and the architecture behind CAMbase, a free online database on CAM (www.cambase.de). We give examples on its use, describe the underlying algorithms and present recent statistics for search terms related to complementary therapies in oncology.
cancer; complementary medicine; database; semantic web; literature
The optimal retrieval of a literature search in biomedicine depends on the appropriate use of Medical Subject Headings (MeSH), descriptors and keywords among authors and indexers. We hypothesized that authors, investigators and indexers in four biomedical databases are not consistent in their use of terminology in Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM).
Based on a research question addressing the validity of spinal palpation for the diagnosis of neuromuscular dysfunction, we developed four search concepts with their respective controlled vocabulary and key terms. We calculated the frequency of MeSH, descriptors, and keywords used by authors in titles and abstracts in comparison to standard practices in semantic and analytic indexing in MEDLINE, MANTIS, CINAHL, and Web of Science.
Multiple searches resulted in the final selection of 38 relevant studies that were indexed at least in one of the four selected databases. Of the four search concepts, validity showed the greatest inconsistency in terminology among authors, indexers and investigators. The use of spinal terms showed the greatest consistency. Of the 22 neuromuscular dysfunction terms provided by the investigators, 11 were not contained in the controlled vocabulary and six were never used by authors or indexers. Most authors did not seem familiar with the controlled vocabulary for validity in the area of neuromuscular dysfunction. Recently, standard glossaries have been developed to assist in the research development of manual medicine.
Searching biomedical databases for CAM is challenging due to inconsistent use of controlled vocabulary and indexing procedures in different databases. A standard terminology should be used by investigators in conducting their search strategies and authors when writing titles, abstracts and submitting keywords for publications.
One of the most commonly used complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) modalities in North America is massage therapy (MT). Research to date indicates many potential health benefits of MT, suggesting that ongoing research efforts to further elucidate and substantiate preliminary findings within the massage profession should be given high priority. Central to the development of a sound evidence base for MT are the use of valid, reliable, and relevant outcome measures in research, and practice in assessing the effectiveness of MT. The purpose of the present article is to introduce MT researchers and massage therapists interested in using outcome measures in research and clinical practice to the IN-CAM Outcomes Database website by describing the Outcomes Database and identifying its utility in MT research and practice. The IN-CAM Outcomes Database is a centralized location where information on outcome measures is collected and made accessible to users. Outcome measures are organized in the database within the Framework of Outcome Domains. The Framework includes health domains relevant to conventional medicine and CAM alike, and health domains that have been identified as important to CAM interventions. Users of the website may search for information on a specific outcome measure, plan research projects, and engage in discussions related to outcomes assessment in the CAM field with other users and with members of the CAM research community. As the MT profession continues to evolve and move toward evidence-informed practice, the IN-CAM Outcomes Database website can be a valuable resource for MT researchers and massage therapists.
Massage therapy; research; practice; health outcomes; outcomes database
Aims. To undertake a systematic review of the recent (2008–2013) primary literature, describing views and experiences of CAM use during pregnancy by women and healthcare professionals. Method. Medline, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Cochrane Database of Systematic Review Library and Allied, and Complementary Medicine Database were searched. Studies reporting systemic CAM products (homeopathic preparations, herbal medicines, Vitamins and minerals, homeopathy, and special diets) alone or in combination with other nonsystemic CAM modalities (e.g., acupuncture) were included. Results. Database searches retrieved 2,549 citations. Removal of duplicates followed by review of titles and abstracts yielded 32 relevant studies. Twenty-two reported the perspectives of women and their CAM use during pregnancy, while 10 focused on healthcare professionals. The majority of studies had significant flaws in study design and reporting, including a lack of appropriate definitions of CAM and associated modalities, absence of detailed checklists provided to participants, the use of convenience sampling, and a general lack of scientific robustness in terms of data validity and reliability. Conclusion. To permit generalisability of study findings, there is an urgent need to expand the evidence base assessing CAMs use during pregnancy using appropriately designed studies.
Objective. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use is prevalent. Concurrently, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide, with early detection techniques widely available. This paper examined the overlap between participation in allopathic breast cancer early detection activities and CAM use. Methods. A systematic review examined the association between breast screening behaviors and CAM use. Searches were conducted on the PubMed, Embase, CINAHL, and NCCAM databases and gray literature between 1990 and 2011. STROBE criteria were used to assess study quality. Results. Nine studies met the search criteria. Four focused on CAM use in women at high breast cancer risk and five on average risk women. CAM use in women ranged from 22% to 82% and was high regardless of breast cancer risk. Correlations between CAM use and breast cancer early detection were not strong or consistent but significant relationships that did emerge were positive. Conclusions. Populations surveyed, and measures used to assess CAM, breast cancer screening, and correlates, varied widely. Many women who obtained allopathic screening also sought out CAM. This provides a foundation for future interventions and research to build on women's motivation to enhance health and develop ways to increase the connections between CAM and allopathic care.
The purpose of this study was to track the graduates of the Los Angeles College of Chiropractic (LACC) radiology residency program, review their scholarly productivity, and report those involved in teaching and leadership positions.
Former LACC residents’ career information was identified through publicly available electronic documents including Web sites and social media. PubMed and the Index to Chiropractic Literature databases were searched for chiropractic graduate job surveys, and proportional comparisons were made between the career paths of LACC radiology residency graduates and those of non–residency-trained chiropractors.
Of 47 former LACC residents, 28 (60%) have or previously had careers in tertiary (chiropractic) education; and 12 (26%) have attained a department chair position or higher at tertiary teaching institutions. Twenty-two (47%) have or previously had private radiology practices, whereas 11 (23%) have or previously had clinical chiropractic practices. Often, residency graduates hold or have held 2 of these positions at once; and one, all 3. Chapters or books were authored by 13 (28%).
Radiology residency LACC graduates are professionally active, particularly in education, and demonstrate scholarly productivity.
Chiropractic; Radiology; Diagnostic imaging; Residency; Education
Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) may offer benefits as well as risks to people with cardiovascular disease. Understanding the prevalence and the nature of CAM use will encourage beneficial CAM therapies, prevent potential herb-drug interactions and foster communication between patients and physicians.
A systematic search of eight bibliographic databases was conducted for studies that investigated CAM use in patients with cardiovascular diseases. Two independent reviewers selected relevant abstracts and evaluated the quality of included studies.
Twenty-seven studies were included. Prevalence of CAM use in cardiac patients ranged from 4% - 61%. Biologically-based therapies usage ranged from 22% to 68%. Herbal medicines were used by between 2% and 46%. A large proportion of patients did not inform medical practitioners about their CAM use and up to 90% of treating physicians did not discuss CAM use with their patients.
CAM use in patients with cardiovascular disease appears common. The findings suggest that the effects of CAM on medical management of cardiovascular disease may be overlooked and that patient-physician communication need to be strengthened.
Complementary and Alternative Medicines (CAM) are used by an extensive number of patients in the UK and elsewhere. In order to understand this pattern of behavior, it is helpful to examine the characteristics of people who use CAM. This narrative review collates and evaluates the evidence concerning the demographic characteristics and health status factors associated with CAM use in community-based non-clinical populations. A systematic literature search of computerized databases was conducted, and published research papers which present evidence concerning associations between CAM use and demographic and health characteristics are discussed and evaluated. The evidence suggests that people who use CAM tend to be female, of middle age and have more education. In terms of their health, CAM users tend to have more than one medical condition, but might not be more likely than non-users to have specific conditions such as cancer or to rate their own general health as poor. The multivariate studies that have been conducted suggest that both demographic and health characteristics contribute independently to CAM use. In conclusion, demographic characteristics and factors related to an individual's health status are associated with CAM use. Future research is needed to address methodological limitations in existing studies.
CAM use; patient characteristics; review
Purpose: This paper will provide a description of the methods, skills, and knowledge of expert searchers working on systematic review teams.
Brief Description: Systematic reviews and meta-analyses are very important to health care practitioners, who need to keep abreast of the medical literature and make informed decisions. Searching is a critical part of conducting these systematic reviews, as errors made in the search process potentially result in a biased or otherwise incomplete evidence base for the review. Searches for systematic reviews need to be constructed to maximize recall and deal effectively with a number of potentially biasing factors. Librarians who conduct the searches for systematic reviews must be experts.
Discussion/Conclusion: Expert searchers need to understand the specifics about data structure and functions of bibliographic and specialized databases, as well as the technical and methodological issues of searching. Search methodology must be based on research about retrieval practices, and it is vital that expert searchers keep informed about, advocate for, and, moreover, conduct research in information retrieval. Expert searchers are an important part of the systematic review team, crucial throughout the review process—from the development of the proposal and research question to publication.
Large databases of published medical research can support clinical decision making by providing physicians with the best available evidence. The time required to obtain optimal results from these databases using traditional systems often makes accessing the databases impractical for clinicians. This article explores whether a hybrid approach of augmenting traditional information retrieval with knowledge-based methods facilitates finding practical clinical advice in the research literature.
Three experimental systems were evaluated for their ability to find MEDLINE citations providing answers to clinical questions of different complexity. The systems (SemRep, Essie, and CQA-1.0), which rely on domain knowledge and semantic processing to varying extents, were evaluated separately and in combination. Fifteen therapy and prevention questions in three categories (general, intermediate, and specific questions) were searched. The first 10 citations retrieved by each system were randomized, anonymized, and evaluated on a three-point scale. The reasons for ratings were documented.
Metrics evaluating the overall performance of a system (mean average precision, binary preference) and metrics evaluating the number of relevant documents in the first several presented to a physician were used.
Scores (mean average precision = 0.57, binary preference = 0.71) for fusion of the retrieval results of the three systems are significantly (p < 0.01) better than those for any individual system. All three systems present three to four relevant citations in the first five for any question type.
The improvements in finding relevant MEDLINE citations due to knowledge-based processing show promise in assisting physicians to answer questions in clinical practice.