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PubMed Health — A Growing Resource for Clinical Effectiveness Information

PubMed Health is a service provided by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM). PubMed Health specializes in reviews of clinical effectiveness research, with easy-to-read summaries for consumers as well as full technical reports. Clinical effectiveness research finds answers to the question “What works?” in medical and health care. With the August and September 2011 releases, the PubMed Health homepage was redesigned and the number of items based on systematic reviews increased significantly.

PubMed Health is based on systematic reviews of clinical trials. These clinical effectiveness reviews can show what treatments and prevention methods have been proven to work, and what remains unknown. PubMed Health provides summaries and full texts of selected systematic reviews in one searchable resource. The reviews are generally published or updated from 2003. There is also information for consumers and clinicians based on those reviews. A search on PubMed Health runs simultaneously in PubMed’s “Clinical Queries” Systematic Reviews, using a filter to identify all the indexed scientific articles at the NLM that might be systematic reviews. This search includes articles prior to 2003.

Information partners selected by PubMed Health to contribute their clinical effectiveness information are:

  • Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (US) (AHRQ)
  • The Cochrane Collaboration (CC)
  • German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG)
  • National Health Service (NHS) National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Technology Assessment Programme (NIHR HTA)
  • National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidelines program (NICE)
  • Oregon Health and Science University’s Drug Effectiveness Review Project (DERP)
  • Department of Veterans Affairs’ Evidence-based Synthesis Program from the Veterans Health Administration R&D (VA ESP)

Other key sections of PubMed Health include England’s Behind the Headlines service from the National Health Service (NHS Choices), medical encyclopedia from A.D.A.M. Education, and medication information from the American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists.

To learn more about PubMed Health, including details about content and organization of the web site, please read the NLM Technical Bulletin or visit PubMed Health at

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