Helping Patient Decide in an Evidence-Based World – Part 3

In a previous post, we discussed the need for providers to stay up-to-date on the latest evidence-based medicine so that they can help patients make the best decisions for the healthcare. At the same time, we acknowledged the fact that the sheer volume of material available makes it difficult for providers to keep up-to-date on the latest research. These research tools and databases can assist providers by producing current summaries of the evidence about a wide variety of clinical topics.

TRIP Database –
The TRIP Database is described as a “clinical search engine designed to allow users to quicly and easily find and use high-quality research evidence to support their practice and/or care.” Access to the site is through a free registration. Searches on the database bring up links to the source articles on any particular topic. While TRIP is not focused on integrative healthcare (IH), many topics relevant to an IH practice do include citations of mainstream medical literature that report on such care.

Natural Medicines –
Natural Medicines (formerly Natural Standard) is self-described as the “The most authoritative resource available on dietary supplements, natural medicines, and complementary alternative and integrative therapies.”

For each therapy covered by Natural Medicines, a research team systematically gathers scientific data and expert opinions. Validated rating scales are used to evaluate the quality of available evidence. Easy to understand grading scale and cross-indexing by condition is available to save your time. All data is incorporated into comprehensive monographs which are designed to facilitate clinical decision making. All monographs undergo blinded editorial and peer review prior to inclusion in Natural Medicines databases. In addition to now-familiar symptom checkers and calculators, the NM database offers comparative effectiveness tables, drug/natural medicine interactions and drug and natural medicine depletion guides.

Natural Medicines is “impartial; not supported by any interest group, professional organization or product manufacturer.”

Natural Medicines is a fee-based product. They also offer a free monthly newsletter “covering news and events on herbs, supplements, exercise, nutrition, complementary and alternative medicine modalities, practices, and policy.”