Top 20 research studies of 2014 for primary care physicians

Mark H. Ebell, Roland Grad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


A team of primary care clinicians with expertise in evidence-based medicine performed monthly surveillance of more than 110 English-language clinical research journals during 2014, and identified 255 studies that had the potential to change how family physicians practice. Each study was critically appraised and summarized, focusing on its relevance to primary care practice, validity, and likelihood that it could change practice. A validated tool was used to obtain feedback from members of the Canadian Medical Association about the clinical relevance of each POEM (patient-oriented evidence that matters) and the benefits they expect for their practice. This article, the fourth installment in this annual series, summarizes the 20 POEMs based on original research studies judged to have the greatest impact on practice for family physicians. Key studies for this year include advice on symptomatic management and prognosis for acute respiratory infections; a novel and effective strengthening treatment for plantar fasciitis; a study showing that varenicline plus nicotine replacement is more effective than varenicline alone; a network meta-analysis concluding that angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors are preferred over angiotensin II receptor blockers; the clear benefits of initial therapy with metformin over other agents in patients with diabetes mellitus; and important guidance on the use of anticoagulants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)377-383
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican family physician
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice


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