pediatric respiratory infectious diseases soar review

There has been a well-documented growth in the use of FOAM in graduate medical education [1-4]. The decentralized nature of FOAM along with concerns with the lack of peer review make the assessment of the quality of information difficult. Several years ago, a group of physicians set out to solve these problems by modifying the traditional systematic review format, and created the Systematic Online Academic Resource (SOAR) review. The SOAR review aims to “systematically identify online resources by topic…[and] assess the quality of these resources with a validated tool, and collate links.” [5]

Our review, “Systematic online academic resource (SOAR) review: Pediatric respiratory infectious disease,” [6] is the fourth in the AEM Education and Training series – and the first focusing on pediatrics. We identified 36 high-quality blog posts on this topic.

Previous SOAR reviews included the following:

What were the top 3 posts for pediatric respiratory ID?

rMETRIQ ScoreTopicBlog/Podcast PostDate of Publication
20EpiglottitisRadiopaedia: Epiglottitis1/29/10
19Strep pharyngitisemDOCs Podcast – Episode 27: An Understated Myth? Strep Throat & Rheumatic Fever4/27/21
19Hand-foot-and-mouth diseaseRadiopaedia: Enterovirus 711/24/14

How can I find the entire list of the 36 high-quality blog posts?

Looking for a blog post on bronchiolitis? Pneumonia? Croup? Look no further! You can view these high-quality blog posts in our SOAR publication (subscription required) [6]. To make it easier, you can also identify these resources by topic on PEMBlog with Dr. Brad Sobolewski (coauthor of the SOAR review):

  1. Bronchiolitis
  2. Epiglottitis
  3. Pneumonia
  4. Croup
  5. Everything else

How did we arrive at 36 blog posts?

Using 177 search terms, our initial search yielded 44,897 resources, 441 of which met criteria for quality assessment.

  • 36 of the 441 blog posts reached the high-quality cutoff score of ≥16 using the rMETRIQ scoring tool.
  • 67 of the 441 blog posts had an rMETRIQ score of ≤7, meeting the threshold for poor quality.
  • Similar to prior SOAR reviews, there was an uneven distribution of blog posts for each topic.
  • For all of the posts reviewed, the highest mean scores were seen in the first 3 questions of the rMETRIQ tool, which relate to the “Content” domain (vs. the “Credibility” and “Review” domains).
  • Only 5 of the 441 posts specified an intended audience level.

How do our findings compare to prior SOAR Reviews?

RenalEndocrineSickle CellPediatric Resp ID
# Reviewed34175653441
High Quality34 (10%)121 (16%)8 (15%)36 (8%)
Poor Quality*NANA11 (21%)67 (15%)

* Poor quality was not assessed in the first 2 SOAR reviews

Special thanks to SOAR coauthors Brad Sobolewski, Cindy Roskind, Andrew Grock, JooYeon Jung, Shirley Bae, and Lisa Zhao.


  1. Purdy E, Thoma B, Bednarczyk J, Migneault D, Sherbino J. The use of free online educational resources by Canadian emergency medicine residents and program directors. Can J Emerg Med. 2015;17(2):101-106. doi:10.1017/cem.2014.73. PMID 25927253
  2. Mallin M, Schlein S, Doctor S, Stroud S, Dawson M, Fix M. A survey of the current utilization of asynchronous education among emergency medicine residents in the United States. Acad Med. 2014;89(4):598-601. doi:10.1097/ACM.0000000000000170. PMID 24556776
  3. Thurtle N, Banks C, Cox M, Pain T, Furyk J. Free open access medical education resource knowledge and utilisation amongst emergency medicine trainees: a survey in four countries. Afr J Emerg Med. 2016;6(1):12-17. doi:10.1016/J.AFJEM.2015.10.005. PMID 30456058
  4. Reiter DA, Lakoff DJ, Trueger NS, Shah KH. Individual interactive instruction: an innovative enhancement to resident education. Ann Emerg Med. 2013;61(1):110-113. doi:10.1016/J. ANNEMERGMED.2012.02.028. PMID 22520994
  5. Grock A, Bhalerao A, Chan TM, Thoma B, Wescott AB, Trueger NS. Systematic online academic resource (SOAR) review: renal and genitourinary. AEM Educ Train. 2019;3(4):375-386. doi:10.1002/ aet2.10351. PMID 31637355
  6. Belfer J, Roskind CG, Grock A, et al. Systematic online academic resource (SOAR) review: Pediatric respiratory infectious disease. AEM Educ Train. 2024;8(1):e10945. Published 2024 Feb 21. doi:10.1002/aet2.10945. PMID 38510728
Joshua Belfer, MD

Joshua Belfer, MD

Attending Physician
Pediatric Emergency Medicine
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Joshua Belfer, MD

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