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Evidence-Based Clinical Practice: Finding Evidence

A resource guide for McMaster's Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Workshop

Welcome to Participants

SIMPLE website - Roadmap for EBCP participants


Participant Access

LibAccess logo

The small lock icon LibAccess lock icon indicates the resource requires an individual or institutional subscription. Clicking on these links from off campus prompts workshop participants to login to Mac ID using the temporary guest account found on the back of the name badge.

Federated Search Engines

Library Catalogue

Success Through 6 'S'

6 S Pyramid

An understanding of the 6 'S' Hierarchy of Evidence is the foundation for efficient and effective retrieval of evidence-based research relating to clinical practice.

The resources on this page will help you find evidence for the speicifc level of the hierarchy you are interested in.

For more search tips, check out the Health Sceinces Library's Database Fundamentals Tutorial.

[Adapted from DiCenso, Bayley and Haynes (2009). ACP Journal Club. Editorial: Accessing pre-appraised evidence: Fine-tuning the 5S model into a 6S model. Annals of Internal Medicine, 151(6):JC3-2, JC3-3.]  


Integrating information from the lower levels of the hiearchy with individual patient records, systems represent the ideal source of evidence for clinical decision-making. 


Summaries are regularly updated clinical guidelines or textbooks that integrate evidence-based information about specific clinical problems.

Synopsis of Syntheses

Synopses of syntheses, summarize and critically appraise the information found in systematic reviews.  By drawing conclusions from evidence at lower levels of the pyramid, these synopses often provide sufficient information to support clinical action.


Commonly referred to as a systematic review, a synthesis is a comprehensive summary of all the evidence surrounding a specific research question.  

Synopsis of Single Studies

Synopses of single studies summarize evidence from high-quality studies, including some level of critical appraisal.


Studies represent unique research conducted to answer specific clincial questions.