How to Develop a National Formulary Based on the WHO Model Formulary - A Practical Guide
(2004; 45 pages) View the PDF document
Table of Contents
View the documentAbbreviations
Open this folder and view contents1 INTRODUCTION
Open this folder and view contents2 OVERVIEW OF THE NATIONAL FORMULARY PROCESS
Open this folder and view contents3 DEVELOPING THE PRELIMINARY INFORMATION SECTION
Open this folder and view contents4 DEVELOPMENT OF THERAPEUTIC INFORMATION AND MONOGRAPHS USING THE WHO MODEL FORMULARY
Close this folder5 ADDITIONAL SOURCES OF INFORMATION
View the documentThe evidence-based approach in formulary development
View the documentInformation retrieval
Open this folder and view contentsTypes of source
Close this folderSearching for the best evidence
View the documentUsing tertiary sources
View the documentUsing secondary sources: evidence-based reviews and guidelines
View the documentSearching the primary literature
Open this folder and view contentsAccessibility
View the documentCritical appraisal
Open this folder and view contents6 DEVELOPING SPECIFIC INFORMATION SECTIONS
Open this folder and view contents7 PRODUCTION, DISTRIBUTION AND IMPLEMENTATION
Open this folder and view contents8 EVALUATION
Open this folder and view contents9 REVIEW AND UPDATE
View the documentREFERENCES
 

Searching the primary literature

When using the primary and secondary literature, it is important to develop good systematic literature search skills to avoid unnecessarily wasting time on irrelevant information. This involves:

1. Defining the type of questions to be asked about medicines (e.g. efficacy, adverse effects, economy and effect on quality of life).

2. Selecting the best type of research evidence or study to provide answers (e.g. randomized controlled trials, cohort studies, cost-benefit analysis or qualitative research).

3. Selecting the best type of information resource that would provide access to such research evidence (e.g. original publications in journals, systematic reviews, textbooks and bibliographical databases).

4. Designing the search strategy, i.e. narrowing the search sufficiently to find the relevant information while using criteria that are suitably inclusive so as not to miss important items. In the case of bibliographical databases this means using the right combinations of keywords, with Boolean operators and methodological filters.


Medline

There are several bibliographical databases that can be used to locate important primary or secondary literature (see examples in Table 5.1). Medline is the largest biomedical bibliographical database that can be accessed at no cost via PubMed12 on the Internet. PubMed has several features that can support systematic searches, one example is the Clinical Queries13 service that can help retrieve sound clinical studies or systematic reviews on etiology, prognosis, diagnosis, prevention or treatment of diseases by applying research methodology filters. You can find further instructions on how to search Medline in the Pubmed Tutorial.14

12http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=PubMed
13http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query/static/clinical.html
14http://www.nlm.nih.gov/bsd/pubmed_tutorial/m1001.html

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