How to Search for Evidence

Phone screen

If you have been trying to follow the trend in Evidence Based Medicine but don’t know where to start, Inspire Cattle Solutions’ Dairy Coach, Mike Steele has just published an article in this month’s UK Vet (Livestock) Journal to get you on the right track. Part 1 of 2 publications shows the reader how to search the vast online databases of research in the most efficient way to answer their Clinical Question. It then describes how to choose papers on their reliability and level of evidence and once all have been reviewed, the novice Evidence Adventurer can make an informed and guided conclusion based on a compilation of this knowledge.


This article is for all the busy practitioners out there that don’t have hours to spend painstakingly reviewing complicated scientific papers. The idea is to break this down into small pieces that can be shared with colleagues: perhaps one colleague can write a Knowledge Summary every few months, but if everyone in the practice contributed, a database of common questions could be compiled to support everyday decisions or Standard Operating Procedures.

Mike and Dog

Mike Steele is a veterinary consultant and helped design the course in Evidence Based Veterinary Medicine at Bristol University Veterinary School in the UK. He applies these techniques when gathering data on farm projects, to support the knowledge base before designing countermeasures to improvement schemes. The more we can understand of the background of our challenges, the better we can build programs to fix them.


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