Health Questions and Answers

Should I read reviews on clinical topics?

This depends on many factors:

  • Are you looking for basic knowledge or understanding of a disease process? If so, a clinical review may be sufficient and can provide the foundation for you to continue your reading on the topic.
  • Are you looking for the latest information? Clinical reviews may be outdated by the time of publication because the literature on which they are based was written before the review.
  • Is it a narrative or systematic review? In narrative reviews, the author selects the articles to include in the review and summarizes the topic based in part on his or her experience. In a systematic review, the author identifies articles through a search and includes or excludes the articles based on predefined criteria and summarizes the topic based on strength of the evidence from the included articles.

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