BMJ Clinical Evidence

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Last Update

  • Updated.jpg 3 November 2016


See also DynaMed Plus | Point-of-care tools in medicine | UpToDate

  • Clinical Evidence (BMJ) is an electronic, searchable version of the British Medical Journal (BMJ)'s print book of the same name. BMJ Clinical Evidence contains summaries of specific clinical questions selected by physicians based on their relevance to practice, not the availability of evidence. Selection is based on statistics such as morbidity and mortality, and national priorities for health care from the United Kingdom (and United States). Each summary discusses treatment and prevention, and the summaries are similar to systematic reviews but summarize evidence related to clinical questions rather than outlining evidence for particular interventions.
  • When EBM literature is not available, other sources such as guidelines are used, and their non-EBM nature is indicated.
Type of evidence used to support content - Ketchum, 2009
  • For each clinical question in CE, information specialists perform a literature search in Medline, Embase, PsycLit, the Cochrane Library and the ACP Journal Club. The literature is appraised by two information specialists before it is given to the lead information specialist to be finalized. A final list is presented to the authors of a summary; each summary is peer-reviewed by two external clinicians. Internal editors continue the editing process which includes an evidence check against original study reports. The search is repeated every 12 months. The online version is updated monthly and the print twice a year. BMJ Updates reports any clinically important studies so that clinicians know about them and do not have to wait for them to be evaluated and integrated into summaries.

Disease summaries - overview

For each clinical question, results are presented as:

  • Beneficial
  • Likely to be beneficial
  • Unknown effectiveness
  • Likely to be ineffective

Each summary also contains an assessment of harms related to the described treatments.


The content in Clinical Evidence is obtained from primary and secondary research evidence, i.e. systematic reviews and RCTs, and is fully referenced. References are linked to PubMed and the Cochrane Library, and National Guidelines, if possible. Clinical Evidence is made available for PDAs as well as on the web. CE is introducing RSS features to make users aware of the latest updates. Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) are supported, as are several truncation symbols and phrase searching.


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