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Identifying the effective evidence sources to use in developing Clinical Guidelines for Acute Stroke Management: lived experiences of the search specialist and project manager

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Abstract Background: 

The Australian National Stroke Foundation appointed a search specialist to find the best available evidence for the second edition of its Clinical Guidelines for Acute Stroke Management. Objective: 

To identify the relative effectiveness of differing evidence sources for the guideline update. Methods: 

We searched and reviewed references from five valid evidence sources for clinical and economic questions: (i) electronic databases; (ii) reference lists of relevant systematic reviews, guidelines, and/or primary studies; (iii) table of contents of a number of key journals for the last 6¬†months; (iv) internet/grey literature; and (v) experts. Reference sources were recorded, quantified, and analysed. Results: 

In the clinical portion of the guidelines document, there was a greater use of previous knowledge and sources other than electronic databases for evidence, while there was a greater use of electronic databases for the economic section. Conclusions: 

The results confirmed that searchers need to be aware of the context and range of sources for evidence searches. For best available evidence, searchers cannot rely solely on electronic databases and need to encompass many different media and sources.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Aptly Information Design, Hawthorn, Vic., Australia, and 2: Guidelines Program, National Stroke Foundation, Bourke Street, Melbourne, Vic. 3000, Australia

Publication date: March 1, 2009

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