Evidence Based Medicine

This guide is designed to assist health care professionals and students become effective and efficient users of the medical literature.

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Therapy Question

What is the evidence for the use of antibiotics for treating otitis media in children?

Search Example - Therapy - Video version

Seach Example - Therapy - Illustrated Version

Step 1. Otitis media is a MeSH term. Use the Advanced Search screen to search for Otitis media as a MeSH term.

Screen shot of PubMed Advanced Search Builder with otitis media in the search box

Step 2. Search for antibiotics, including synonyms (connected with OR).

Screen shot of PubMed search box containing "antibiotics OR 'anti-bacterial agents' OR 'drug therapy'

Step 3a. Combine the concepts with AND.

Screen shot of PubMed Advanced Search Builder showing combining searches with AND and showing search history

Step 3b: Combined Results

Screen shot of PubMed search results

Step 4a. Limit the results by Age.

Scroll down the results page and click on Additional Filters to add Age Filters.

Screen shot of PubMed showing the Additional Filters button in the left-side menu

Step 4b. Select the Age Filter. Check "Child: birth-18." Click on Show.

Screen shot of PubMed's Additional Filters selection box

Step 4c. Apply the Child Age Filter.

Screen shot of PubMed showing the "Child: birth - 18 years" filter being applied

Step 5. To further reduce the number of results, use more filters. For example, the Publication Date and the Article Type filters.

Screen shot of PubMed search results showing several filters applied

Search Example - Therapy - Alternate Search Approach

Alternate Search Approach - Clinical Queries

Step 1. Find Clinical Queries option on PubMed homepage

Screen shot of the PubMed homepage's link menu

Step 2. Search for original terms, with or without synonyms.

Select the Therapy filter, and select either a Broad or Narrow Scope.

Screen shot of Clinical Queries page with "otitis media antibiotics children" in the search box

Step 3. Review Clinical Queries results, filtered by Therapy and a Broad scope.

Screen shot of Clinical Queries search results


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