Comparative Effectiveness Research Resources

The 2009 Report to the President and Congress from the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research states that “recent government legislation and revised definitions of comparative effectiveness research (CER) put a spotlight on the information resources available to support CER and patient-centered outcomes research efforts.” As a result, the National Library of Medicine (NLM), other government agencies, and many academic centers have developed tutorials and tools to locate primary literature and datasets to support CER, as well as resources to identify CER technical reports and reviews for consumers.

Useful resources include:

  • CER Training Resources
    The Center for Health Outcomes, Policy, and Evaluation Studies at Ohio State University produced sixteen online modules that provide both basic and advanced learning opportunities. Modules include an introduction to CER as well as advanced instruction on various CER methods, such as propensity scores, instrumental variables and cost effectiveness, and policy and practice.
  • NLM Resources for Informing Comparative Effectiveness
    This resource provides specialized searches of published research from the PubMed database, as well as research still in progress from the HSRProj database and For more information on the development of this resource, see “NLM Resources for Informing Comparative Effectiveness Research,” NLM Technical Bulletin, April 21, 2010.
  • PubMed Health
    This authoritative tool from NLM specializes in providing reviews of clinical effectiveness research, with summaries for consumers as well as full CER technical reports and clinical guides. Information contained in PubMed Health comes from top world health research organizations, including the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (University of York), The Cochrane Collaboration, German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care, National Cancer Institute, and the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence Guidelines Programme.
  • Community Health Status Indicators 2009
    The reports of the Community Health Status Indicators Project contain key health indicators for local communities by providing over 200 measures for each of the 3,141 counties in the United States. The collection of data was obtained from a variety of U.S. federal agencies including the Department of Health and Human Services, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Census Bureau, and Department of Labor.
  • Accelerate: Access CTSI Services to Enable Research
    This large dataset inventory tool is produced by the Clinical & Translational Sciences Institute at the University of California at San Francisco. You can search by selecting from a list of criteria or browse a list of all datasets.
    Use Data/Tools to access a comprehensive catalog of health-related datasets. The Health Apps Expo gives examples of innovative apps using health-related data that help consumers make better-informed decisions. is produced by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

~ Charlie Wessel