Evaluating sources of information for validity and appropriateness is crucial to the research process. This is especially true when accessing internet resources, as websites frequently lack the editorial quality control of books or journals.
One tool for evaluating information resources is the CRAAP test. To apply the test, examine the following elements of the site:
The Institute of Medicine defines clinical practice guidelines as "statements that include recommendations intended to optimize patient care . . . informed by a systematic review of evidence and an assessment of the benefits and harms of alternative care options." Usually written by professional organizations or societies, clinical guidelines bring together expert consensus and evidence about the latest standards of care for specific patients and situations, in an easy-to-use format to improve decision-making and healthcare outcomes.
The following organizations publish or compile guidelines to aid in healthcare decision-making:
Some agencies provide medical information that is intended not for healthcare practitioners but rather for patients and consumers.
The websites below provide plain-language guidelines or wellness best practices for patients and their friends and families.
You can also use PubMed.gov to search for clinical guidelines with the following steps: