Evidence Synthesis

There is a plethora of information in almost every area of healthcare. For example, a search of MEDLINE (the U.S. National Library of Medicine's bibliographic database) using only the terms depressed, depressive, or depression yields more than 3,000 hits of articles published since 1980— and MEDLINE is only one of many health-related electronic bibliographic databases. The same terms on the search engine Google on the World Wide Web yield upward of 84,000,000 hits. Yet informed health-related decision making is dependent on having access to current knowledge. Without some help in assembling, organizing, and summarizing this information, the patient, healthcare practitioner, or policy maker would be at a loss to navigate through this mass of information. The vast amount of information available gives rise to the ...

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