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How to Read a Paper: The Basics of Evidence-Based Medicine 4th Edition

14 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1444334364
ISBN-10: 1444334360
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"It becomes phenomenal in the transition of empirical medicine to evidence-based medicine
(EBM) ... Even though the book titles the word ‘basics' it is fit enough for advanced level of EBM. (Riper Pdic Bulletin, 1December 2011)

"It is an essential read for all occupational health practitioners in training and those participating in a systematic evidence review or the development of evidence-based practice guidelines." (Occupational Medicine, 11 December 2011)

"To some extent forget the "evidence-based medicine" tag; while some chapters are specific to medical research, many others have generic value for any field of research ... This is a useful supplement that will aid anyone new to the assessment game." (Online Information Review, 2011)

"In summary, this book presents with not only some interesting research material itself, but also provides valuable insight into the reading and interpretation of technical and research papers. As a laboratory professional, this text can help to move you from merely a reader to papers to a user of papers. This step can take you to a new level in your laboratory career. Definitely worth the read or at least the scan." (Advance for Medical Laboratory Professionals, 10 October 2011)

"It will be a great tool for students, teachers and others in the world of academia, as well as patients who want to find out more about their condition, and who are new to reading journal papers and other documents which consider evidence-based medicine . . . It is good to see this book in its 4th edition and this reviewer hopes it continues to be revised as it really does provide a basic one-stop shop if you are new to evidence-based medicine." (The Encephalitis Society, 2011)

"Writing for health students and professionals, and anyone wanting to assess the validity of articles, Greenhalgh (primary health care, Queen Mary, U. of London, UK) explains the principles of evidencebased medicine and how to critically evaluate clinical research papers. She details how to evaluate different types of papers, such as papers on drug treatments and simple interventions, diagnostic and screening tests, those that summarize other papers, guidelines, economic analyses, and qualitative research." (Book News, September 2010)Trisha Greenhalgh is a doctor, not a statistician, and she is writing about a topic, Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM) that might appear at first to be irrelevant to us statisticians. It is not irrelevant. Any statistician who works extensively with health care professionals should embrace the EBM movement." (Journal of Biopharmaceutical Statistics , 2011)

"The book does show you how to put your brain into thinking gear and not just absorb information without thinking about it making this an excellent book. If I can react so strongly in this review, then it has to be worth something." (SFCrowsnest.co.uk, July 2010)

From the Back Cover

The book that health professionals turn to for a full and clear explanation of the principles of evidence-based medicine.

The author's descriptions of clinical research papers and how to critically appraise them are so simply presented as to be understandable by readers at all levels, from student to specialist. Chapters on searching the literature and implementing the evidence provide guidance on using evidence-based medicine in clinical practice.

This fourth edition retains the winning style, and takes in the recent developments and shifts of emphasis in evidence-based medicine and now includes:

  • Thoroughly revised and updated chapters on searching, qualitative research, systematic review, and implementing evidence-based practice
  • 2 new chapters on quality improvement and the emerging field of complex interventions

This new edition will be welcomed by those who teach and those needing to learn the basics of evidence-based medicine. Praise for previous editions

"One of the greatest aspects of this book is the section relating to searching the literature and whilst we may think we may all practise this on a fairly regular basis under the assumption that we do a pretty decent job of it, this section holds the key to excelling."
From a review in Urology News

"This clear and concise book provides an excellent starting point for those interested in finding their way through the medical literature."
From a review in Palliative Medicine

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: BMJ Books; 4 edition (May 24, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444334360
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444334364
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #168,529 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 31, 2000
Format: Paperback
Greenhalgh's book is a good place to start if you want to learn how to consume research articles. The target audience for this book is those primarily interested in health research, but it useful for all those who must make their way through journal articles. Greenhalgh goes through the basics and touches on important issues. However, it is important to point out that this book is only a first step in understanding how to read journal articles.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Gaetan Lion on August 14, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very readable and informative book on how to read and assess medical research papers. The author touches on something broadly applicable to almost any field, and that is how to exercise critical thinking, how to ask the right questions, what logical traps to avoid. This is so doctors don't get fooled by eager pharmaceuticals representatives; Also, for patients to educate themselves in Bayesian statistics so they can overcome their doctors flawed tests recommendations. This book will also help researchers conduct their own experiment in integer ways to derive informative results for society at large. It will also help policymakers not being fooled by flawed research studies.

The author has been criticized for not often technically describing the statistical tests she refers to. But, this was not the author's purpose. She states right upfront in the preface, if you want to dig deep into the technicalities get Clinical Epidemiology: A Basic Science for Clinical Medicine. The author has conveyed something more important than providing another treaty in statistical epidemiology. Frankly, if you are interested in the various statistical tests, Wikipedia will do just fine. But, what tests to use when and how are very important considerations she addresses with much expertise. What analytical framework and methodology to use in what research situation. How to judge if such research conducted by others used inappropriate frameworks. Those are tough issues often more difficult to handle proficiently than conducting statistical tests.

She provides extensive information on related subjects.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 15, 2001
Format: Paperback
Greenhalgh's book is a great read for someone familiar with medical and research terminology. As a med student, I loved it and found it very practical. It contains a great deal of material on how to evaluate the type, methodology, and statistical methods of research papers. There is no glossary, and in places the layout is hard to look at.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is an excellent, easy to read guide for anyone who needs a better understanding of research studies, and how to evaluate their applicability and reliability. It is perfect for nursing, psychology, and allied health research courses.

This book is a compilation of ten articles the author wrote for the British Journal of Medicine (BMJ). If you look online you can find the individual articles scattered here and there and at one point I even found all the articles (essentially this book) as an ebook available for free download.

I refer to this book time and time again when I need a refresher on the various aspects of research and also to verify that I hit on all the points when evaluating a study.

Great book, very user friendly.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Brennan Spiegel on June 11, 2001
Format: Paperback
"How to Read a Paper" reads more like a short essay than a book. While it is well written and often full of spirited discussion, this text is somewhat short on substance and generally too simplistic. The author rarely delves beyond the surface when explaining and exporoing this field, leaving me, at least, unsatisfied. Whereas a simplistic approach to any field may be useful, the amplification of themes once introduced is where real learning occurs. This book falls short, where several other excellent texts in this field carry on. I do like the author's style, and would encourage her to scribe a more thorough text... but if I were you I'd wait for that effort before buying this one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Felicity Boyd Enders on August 27, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm using the Kindle app on an ipad. Not only are the index items not clickable, the page numbers do not show up. This is such a major concern I'm considering contacting Amazon for a refund.

The book itself is quite useful. Get it on paper!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Karen on January 8, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book definitely gets into the nitty-gritty of scientific papers but with a sense of humor that keeps me coming back. I've learned so much and I appreciate that there is someone skilled enough that can take such a dry subject and make it fun! I am so happy I understand this content - thank you Trisha Greenhalgh.
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