The information infrastructure that supports evidence-based veterinary medicine: a comparison with human medicine

J Vet Med Educ. Summer 2011;38(2):123-34. doi: 10.3138/jvme.38.2.123.


In human medicine, the information infrastructure that supports the knowledge translation processes of exchange, synthesis, dissemination, and application of the best clinical intervention research has developed significantly in the past 15 years, facilitating the uptake of research evidence by clinicians as well as the practice of evidence-based medicine. Seven of the key elements of this improved information infrastructure are clinical trial registries, research reporting standards, systematic reviews, organizations that support the production of systematic reviews, the indexing of clinical intervention research in MEDLINE, clinical search filters for MEDLINE, and point-of-care decision support information resources. The objective of this paper is to describe why these elements are important for evidence-based medicine, the key developments and issues related to these seven information infrastructure elements in human medicine, how these 7 elements compare with the corresponding infrastructure elements in veterinary medicine, and how all of these factors affect the translation of clinical intervention research into clinical practice. A focused search of the Ovid MEDLINE database was conducted for English language journal literature published between 2000 and 2010. Two bibliographies were consulted and selected national and international Web sites were searched using Google. The literature reviewed indicates that the information infrastructure supporting evidence-based veterinary medicine practice in all of the 7 elements reviewed is significantly underdeveloped in relation to the corresponding information infrastructure in human medicine. This lack of development creates barriers to the timely translation of veterinary medicine research into clinical practice and also to the conduct of both primary clinical intervention research and synthesis research.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Canada
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Education, Veterinary / methods*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine*
  • Humans
  • Information Dissemination / methods*
  • Registries
  • Veterinary Medicine / organization & administration*
  • Veterinary Medicine / standards*