The 6S Model of Evidence-Based Resources can be used to help select resources to answer foreground questions related to patient care. Since Systems resources are still in development, it is most efficient to start by searching Summary resources, such as clinical practice guidelines, DynaMed, and UpToDate. If you do not find an answer to your foreground question in a Summary resource, you will work your way down the 6S Model to Synopses of Syntheses, Syntheses, Synopses of Single Studies, and Single Studies resources.
Pyramid modified from: DiCenso A, Bayley L, Haynes RB. ACP Journal Club. Editorial: Accessing preappraised evidence: fine-tuning the 5S model into a 6S model. Ann Intern Med. 2009;151(6):JC3.
Systems Resources at the top of the 6S model are still emerging and evolving in clinical practice. In the future, Systems resources will automatically link a patient's characteristics to the matching best evidence and management recommendations.
Once they are available, Systems resources will make evidence-based practice more efficient since health care professionals will not need to search other resources independently.
Current generative artificial intelligence tools (such as ChatGPT) are not systems level evidence-based resources as presented at the top of the 6S model.
To explore risks and ethical considerations of applying current artificial intelligence tools in evidence-based practice, read:
Synopses of Syntheses briefly describe and appraise the systematic reviews and meta-analyses found at the Syntheses level, including the review's methodology, key findings, and the strength of the findings.
Synopses of Syntheses can save time compared to reading and analyzing the full review yourself.
Synopses of Single Studies provide brief summaries of high-quality original research. Synopses of Single Studies are a more efficient source of evidence than original research because they balance brevity and succinct detail.
Synopses are not available for all research studies; if you cannot find one on your topic you will need to search a Single Studies resource for evidence.
The Single Studies level of the 6S Model of Evidence Resources includes a wide variety of study designs (e.g., randomized controlled trials and cohort studies). Research study designs are often organized into hierarchies, such as the Study Design Pyramid on the Levels of Evidence page of this guide.
The type of study design available to provide the best evidence for your clinical question may vary based on the research question, ethical considerations, resourcing limitations, and study quality.
Reach out to the informationist for your specialty for more information on literature databases available at the University of Michigan.
The video below demonstrates how to use the MGetIt link to access articles through the University of Michigan Library.
Foundational Resources include high-quality background resources and integrated clinical tools. Even though Foundational Resources often reference original research and syntheses, they are not included in the 6S model because they do not follow transparent, evidence-based processes to create content.
Consider using Foundational Resources, such as medical textbooks and drug resources, for background questions.