Intended for healthcare professionals


A POEM a week for the BMJ

BMJ 2002; 325 doi: (Published 02 November 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;325:983

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A POEM is Patient-Oriented Evidence that Matters

  1. Richard Smith, editor
  1. BMJ

    From now the BMJ will publish every week a POEM—a summary of a valid piece of research that carries information that is important to patients and so to their doctors. Unfortunately most research does not provide information that matters to patients. The POEMs will be published beside Editor's Choice. POEM stands for Patient-Oriented Evidence that Matters, and the concept was developed by David Slawson and Allen Shaughnessy, academics in family practice from University of Virginia in the United States. 1 2

    The concept has its origins in a formula developed by Slawson and Shaugnessy: Formula where U=usefulness of the information to doctors, R=relevance of the information to doctors, V=validity of the information, and W=work to access the information. In words, the most useful information for doctors is information that is relevant to their practice, valid, and does not take too much work to access. After listening to a presentation by Maria Musoke, a researcher from Uganda, on the usefulness of …

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