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Annals Clinical Decision Making: Weighing Evidence to Inform Clinical Decisions
Deciding when recently published evidence should alter practice can be daunting. This article in the Annals Clinical Decision Making series discusses the care of a patient with a common problem and recently published studies to illustrate an approach to weighing new evidence not yet considered by practice guidelines that conflicts with existing recommendations.
- Investigate the clinical question posed in the case presentation (whether to use steroids for therapy in a patient with pneumonia). How do you go about finding relevant information? What variables do you use to assess whether each source of information is reliable and sufficiently updated?
- Do you use clinical guidelines to inform your care? How do you assess their quality? Read this editorial to help you think about these questions.
- How do you decide whether the results of a recently published study should alter your plans of care? What variables do you consider?
- How do you assess validity? Use the Figure. What is the difference between the internal and external validity of a study?
- What variables should be considered when deciding whether to apply the results of a study to the care of an individual patient?
Annals of Internal Medicine is the premier internal medicine academic journal published by the American College of Physicians (ACP). It is one of the most widely cited and influential specialty medical journals in the world.