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Purpose of this Guide

Use this guide to find resources to support the Evidence-Informed Decision Making (EIDM) process. Databases are listed below according to the level of the 6S Pyramid that they represent.

When you are searching for resources to answer a quantitative question, begin at the Summaries level of the pyramid and work your way down. Once you find an answer to your question, you don't typically need to continue to search lower levels of the pyramid.

When you are searching for resources to answer a qualitative question, begin at the Synopses of Single Studies level of the pyramid.

EIDM Resources Available from the Conestoga Library

This image of the 6S Pyramid demonstrates the relationship of the resources in the hierarchy of pre-processed evidence.


Systems integrate information from the lower levels of the pyramid with individual patient records, producing a tailored recommendation for clinical decision-making. e.g. Computerized decision support systems (CDSSs)

This level of the pyramid is not relevant for the purposes of Public Health research.


Summaries look at all of the evidence from the lower levels of the pyramid and make recommendations based on the evidence that can be implemented in practice.

Synopses of Syntheses

A synopsis of synthesis provides a summary of an individual systematic review. It must be a high quality review to meet all of the criteria to be selected for summary.

Syntheses (Systematic Reviews)

Syntheses (Systematic Reviews)  involve a systematic approach in which extensive searches are conducted to locate every research study that would answer a particular question, and then specific criteria are applied to select only the best articles that demonstrate sound methodology, validity, etc.

Based on this smaller set of high quality results, the review will be written summarizing the information/evidence found, and drawing some conclusions that can be applied in practice.

Synopses of Single Studies / Evidence-Based Abstract Journals

A synopsis of a single study provides a summary of an individual primary research study. The research study must be of high quality and meet the necessary criteria to be selected for summary.

Single Studies

Single studies refer to primary or original research studies conducted to answer specific clinical questions.

CINAHL, Medline & PubMed all feature a filter for Clinical Queries which will limit your search results to clinically relevant and scientifically sound studies of the following types: Therapy, Prognosis, Review, Qualitative, and Causation (Etiology).

Databases for Single Studies