Sources of evidence

1. Portals/search engines/databases searching a range of sources

NICE Evidence

NICE Evidence Services are a suite of services that provide access to high quality authoritative evidence and best practice. NICE Evidence Services are for everyone working in health and social care who make decisions about treatments, interventions or the use of resources.


Trip (Turning Research Into Practice)

Clinical search engine. Allows quick searches to access research evidence to support practice.

Results are filtered to make it easier to find the most suitable content.

Useful "How to" video guides for using various aspects of Trip can be found here:



Facilitates rapid access to the best available evidence for decisions about health systems and population health.

It includes:

  • systematic reviews
  • overviews of reviews (including evidence-based policy briefs)
  • primary studies included in SRs
  • structured summaries of that evidence.


Social Care Online

Part of Social Care Institute for Excellence, this is a knowledge base for good practice in all aspects of social care and social work throughout the UK


2. Guidelines


The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is an executive non-departmental public body of the Department of Health

which publishes guidelines in four areas:

  • the use of health technologies within NHS (such as the use of new and existing medicines, treatments and procedures)
  • clinical practice (guidance on the appropriate treatment and care of people with specific diseases and conditions)
  • guidance for public sector workers on health promotion and ill-health avoidance
  • guidance for social care services and users.



The Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) was formed in 1993 and develops and disseminates evidence based clinical practice guidelines for NHS Scotland. These guidelines contain recommendations for effective practice based on current evidence. In 2005 it became part of NHS Quality Improvement Scotland.


3. Reviews others have done……

Cochrane Library

The Cochrane Library is a collection of databases in medicine and other healthcare specialties provided by Cochrane and other organizations.

The Cochrane Library consists of the following databases:

  • The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (Cochrane Reviews). Contains all the peer-reviewed systematic reviews and meta-analyses which summarise and interpret the results of health research prepared by the Cochrane Review Groups. The Cochrane Library aims to make the results of well-conducted controlled trials readily available and is a key resource
  • The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL). CENTRAL is a database that contains details of articles of Controlled trials and other studies of healthcare interventions from bibliographic databases (majorly MEDLINE and EMBASE), and other published and unpublished sources that are difficult to access, including trials from the trial registry
  • Cochrane Clinical Answers. These evidence summaries on a variety of questions of interest to healthcare professionals have a user-friendly presentation with graphics and high-level conclusions of the research evidence based on Cochrane Reviews


Campbell Collaboration

Database of systematic reviews focusing on the effects of social and educational interventions. Reviews include issues such as social support, behaviour and housing.


HTAs (Health Technology Assessment)

  • Type of research synthesis that generates information about the clinical and cost-effectiveness of health technologies e.g. drugs, medical devices, diagnostic techniques, surgical procedures and public health programmes/screening programmes.
  • An HTA may also look at the social, ethical and organisational aspects associated with technology use including its resource implications and budget impact


Health Evidence Canada (Public Health)

Contains systematic reviews on the effectiveness of public health and health promotion interventions. Reviews are rated from weak to strong in terms of robustness.




Evidence for Policy and Practice Information

Databases of primary research and research synthesis

  • Database of Promoting Health Effectiveness Reviews (DoPHER): health promotion reviews
  • Trials Register of Promoting Health Interventions (TRoPHI): Public Health and Health Promotion intervention trials


  • Databases relating to education, engagement in culture and sport, obesity, and more…..)