The Diabetes Elf is coming out of hibernation

Lock up your goblins!  The snow may still be on the ground, but it’s time for the Diabetes Elf to come out of his hibernation and get busy with the evidence.

Thanks for your patience!

What is The Diabetes Elf?

The Diabetes Elf highlights important new evidence in diabetes care as it arises in journals, key websites and bibliographic databases.

The aim of the exercise is to enable you to keep abreast of new evidence in diabetes care and feel that you are connected to the evidence base in this challenging and rapidly-evolving field.

By “important new evidence” I mean:

  • Systematic reviews of clinical questions that are important to patients, carers or clinicians, or
  • Evidence-based guidelines.

that are likely to influence patient care in type 1, type 2 or gestational diabetes.

There are simply too many randomised trials to keep track of, so my key focus is on secondary evidence for the moment.  That said, I do monitor RCTs and if one appears that seems particularly important, I will blog about it.

Evidence sources

I use RSS feeds to monitor the output of PubMed, the Cochrane Library, DARE, key professional websites and diabetes journals.  You can find out more about how I do this in the About section.  Let me know if you think I am missing some important sources!

Quality evaluation

I am a busy elf and I don’t always have time to perform a full critical appraisal of every paper.  However, when I do, I assess them using the CASP critical appraisal tool for systematic reviews and the AGREE II Instrument for evaluating guidelines.

When I don’t, I highlight areas of concern that you should be sure to check out before you rush off and buy the magic beans!

These assessments represent my opinion alone and should not be interpreted as advice.  I welcome discussion and feedback about what we write, especially from the authors, but not from trolls.

National Elf Service

Clearly, it’s not just diabetes care that needs to keep up with the evidence.  The Diabetes Elf is part of a broader attempt to make the evidence more accessible to the people who need it (i.e. you).  You can visit my cousins in the following fields:

Why “Elf”?

It just sounded like a good idea one Friday afternoon, and about 99% of the people we have spoken to about it agree.

But a lowly Elf can only keep up with so much, so if you are interested in joining the merry band, please get in touch.

Share this post: Share on Facebook Tweet this on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Google+ Share via email



I am an information scientist with an interest in making knowledge from systematic research more accessible to people who need it. This means you. I’ve been attempting this in the area of Evidence-Based Health Care since 1995. So far the results have been mixed. For some reason we expected busy clinicians to search databases and appraise papers instead of seeing patients. We also expected publishers to make the research freely available to the people who paid for it.. Ha! Hence The National Elf service.

More posts - Website

Follow me here –