PubMed Clinical Queries

PubMed Clinical Queries provides access to specialized PubMed searches designed to quickly connect clinicians with evidence-based clinical literature. 

There are two EBM search options:

  • Search by Clinical Study Category
  • Find Systematic Reviews

Search by Clinical Study Category

This feature searches PubMed for your specified search terms and then applies specialized search “filters” based on research by Haynes, et al. that are dependent on the clinical question you are seeking to answer. 

There are five study categories or filters to choose from based on your clinical question:

  • Etiology – information addressing causation/harm of disease
  • Diagnosis – information addressing disease diagnosis
  • Prognosis – information addressing disease prognosis
  • Clinical prediction guidelines – data addressing the likelihood of disease presence or absence
  • Therapy – information addressing the treatment of disease
    *Note: therapy is the search default.

Two scope categories or filters are provided:

  • narrow, specific search — will get more precise, relevant citations but less retrieval
  • broad, sensitive search — includes relevant citations but probably some less relevant; will get more retrieval

Find Systematic Reviews

This feature searches a subset of PubMed including: systematic reviews, meta-analyses, reviews of clinical trials, evidence-based medicine, consensus development conferences, and guidelines. Citations from journals specializing in clinical review studies are also included. Keep in mind that this is not a comprehensive search of PubMed. 

Tips and Hints for Searching Clinical Queries

  • Use specific subject terms to target your search. For example, if you are seeking clinical studies on cranberry juice, type in Vaccinium Macrocarpon instead of cranberry juice.
  • Do not search for disease name abbreviations. Type in urinary tract infections, not UTI.
  • After using these features, you may refine your retrieval by using PubMed’s limits.
  • Upon reviewing the citations you have retrieved there is an option to view related articles. By selecting this option, you “turn off” the Clinical Study search filters and any limits that you have applied.

Note: Information for this handout was gathered from the National Library of Medicine. See NLM tutorial for more information.