The internist's literature on chronic rhinosinusitis: An evaluation of the amount and quality of published information

July 31, 2010
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Abstract

Most patients with chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) are treated by internists, yet the information available to internists about CRS is rarely assessed. The author undertook a study to evaluate the amount and quality of information about CRS that is available to internists. Four information sources were analyzed: (1) five journals routinely read by internists, published over a 10-year period and searched on PubMed for the “exploded” terms chronic and sinusitis; (2) seven representative general and outpatient medicine texts, searched on MD Consult and STAT!Ref; (3) the 14th edition of the Medical Knowledge Self-Assessment Program (MKSAP 14), a review of internal medicine; and (4) four commonly used Internet databases. The five journals contained a total of 37,250 cited articles of various types over the study period; CRS was mentioned in only 19 of them. The standard medical texts offered little information about CRS, and MKSAP 14 did not mention CRS at all in the text, although it included some information in the questions and answers. Finally, among the online sources, UpToDate, a proprietary Internet database, offered an excellent discourse on CRS; in contrast, the Physicians' Information and Education Resource, maintained by the American College of Physicians, contained no information about CRS in its 436 subject modules. The author concludes that, with few exceptions, the literature routinely available to internists offers little information about CRS.

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