Finding and reviewing the evidence

This section provides links and documents which give advice on how to search for and review evidence. The list is not intended to be exhaustive but provides a starting point for people undertaking research in this area.

Search Strategies

Get started with Knowledge Services´ brief guide to developing a search strategy and then:

Evidence Reviews

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) publish their methods in conducting reviews within the NICE ´Methods for Development of Public Health Guidance´ manual (external link).

NICE publishes evidence reviews for each set of guidance it produces (external link) - follow links through Public Health Guidance to access these reviews. NICE also publishes public health pathways (external link) that bring together all related NICE products on a topic in a simple-to-read user-friendly interface.   

NHS Evidence (external link) provides access to the public health evidence base by providing access to guidelines, strategies, policies, systematic reviews, and news and events of note to the wider public health workforce.

The Cochrane Library (external link) is a collection of six databases that contain different types of high-quality, independent evidence to inform healthcare decision-making:

  • Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 
  • Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials 
  • Cochrane Methodology Register 
  • Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects 
  • Health Technology Assessment Database 
  • NHS Economic Evaluation Database 

The Evidence for Action team in NHS Health Scotland produce evidence briefings on a range of public health topics/settings/lifestages.  

NHS Health Scotland is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

If you encounter any issues with the above named publications or external web links, please contact the Research Officer (


Reviewed 28 April 2016.

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