How to keep up with the critical care literature and avoid being buried alive
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OBJECTIVE: To provide practical suggestions for accessing, utilizing, and storing the rapidly expanding literature on critical care. DATA SOURCES: Original research on information sources for clinicians and techniques for keeping up with the literature, found through bibliographic searches, our personal files, and consultation with critical care colleagues. DATA SYNTHESIS: Suggestions for keeping up with the critical care literature include: 1) focus the clinical question; 2) locate literature using bibliographic databases; 3) use original journal articles; 4) use systematic reviews with confidence; 5) use text-books with caution; 6) read the preappraised literature; 7) abandon advertisements; 8) throw away the throwaways; 9) teach yourself critical appraisal; 10) be wary of overinterpretation of substitute end points; 11) teach yourself basic clinical statistics; 12) engage in effective browsing; 13) store useful articles; 14) invest in informatics; and 15) implement evidence-based practice guidelines. CONCLUSION: Efficient access, appraisal, and application of the literature on intensive care are basic skills for intensivists, who have adopted a variety of resourceful and pragmatic methods for "keeping up."
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