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Nursing & Health Sciences: Evidence Based Practice (useful for Nurs2030/3030)

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Example CINAHL search for Intervention question

This search illustrates keywords, limits and filters that could be used to answer the following intervention/therapy question:

In female patients with urinary incontinence, are pelvic floor exercises an effective therapy?

SEARCH TIPS:

  • A Systematic Review is one of the most rigourous types of studies determining the effectiveness of an intervention or therapy.  Select this in the Publication Type menu under Limits.

  • Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs), often used in Systematic Reviews, are the most rigorous type of clinical trials.  Limiting your search to these types of studies is one way to find the best evidence.  If there are no RCTs, you could select the broader publication type Clinical Trials.

  • Select the Evidence Based Practice limit. 

    From CINAHL: When applied, the Evidence-Based Practice limiter searches the Special Interest field for the value "Evidence-Based Practice." Applying this limiter allows you to limit results to: Articles from evidence-based practice journals; Articles about evidence-based practice ; Research articles (including systematic reviews, clinical trials, meta analyses, etc.); and Commentaries on research studies (applying practice to research).

  • In CINAHL, Medline, and PubMed there is the option to limit your search by Clinical Queries. Behind these limits are pre-arranged search strategies that will be added to your keyword search to filter out the best research.

    From CINAHL: " Clinical Queries allow the user to limit searches using specific search strategies to aid in retrieving scientifically sound and clinically relevant studies. Searches can be refined using specific search strategies designed to produce results in 5 research areas, and the emphasis may be Sensitive (i.e., most relevant articles but probably some less relevant ones), Specific (i.e., mostly relevant articles but probably omitting a few), or Optimized (i.e., the combination of terms that optimizes the trade-off between sensitivity and specificity).

 

(NOTE: the * is the truncation symbol used to find variant endings to the root of a word. Eg. adolesc* will find adolescent or adolescents or adolescence.)


Example CINAHL search for Harm/Causation question

The search illustrates keywords, limits and filters that could be used to answer the following harm/causation question:

In women taking oral contraceptives, is there an association between there use and cardiovascular disease?

SEARCH TIPS:

  • Case control studies and cohort studies are the types of studies often used in harm/causation research.   Limiting your search to these types of studies is one way to find the best evidence. Add the keyword 'cohort' or 'case control' to your subject search to filter out the best research. 

  • Adding the keyword 'risk' to your subject search is another way to filter out the best research.

  • In CINAHL, Medline, and PubMed there is the option to limit your search by Clinical Queries. Behind these limits are pre-arranged search strategies that will be added to your subject search to filter out the best research.

    From CINAHL: "
    Clinical Queries allow the user to limit searches using specific search strategies to aid in retrieving scientifically sound and clinically relevant studies. Searches can be refined using specific search strategies designed to produce results in 5 research areas, and the emphasis may be Sensitive (i.e., most relevant articles but probably some less relevant ones), Specific (i.e., mostly relevant articles but probably omitting a few), or Optimized (i.e., the combination of terms that optimizes the trade-off between sensitivity and specificity).


(NOTE: the * is the truncation symbol used to find variant endings to the root of a word. Eg. adolesc* will find adolescent or adolescents or adolescence.)

Example CINAHL search for Qualitative question

The search illustrates keywords, limits and filters that could be used to answer the following qualitative question:

What are the issues families might consider when making decisions about prenatal diagnosis?

SEARCH TIPS:

  • Adding the keyword 'qualitative' to your subject search is one way to find qualitative studies. 

  • Many qualitative studies use interviewing to collect data.  Adding the keyword 'interview*' to your subject search is another way to filter out qualitative research.

  • Adding the keyword 'experience' to your subject search is another way to filter out qualitative research.

  • In CINAHL, Medline, and PubMed there is the option to limit your search by Clinical Queries. Behind these limits are pre-arranged search strategies that will be added to your subject search to filter out the best research.

    From CINAHL: "
    Clinical Queries allow the user to limit searches using specific search strategies to aid in retrieving scientifically sound and clinically relevant studies. Searches can be refined using specific search strategies designed to produce results in 5 research areas, and the emphasis may be Sensitive (i.e., most relevant articles but probably some less relevant ones), Specific (i.e., mostly relevant articles but probably omitting a few), or Optimized (i.e., the combination of terms that optimizes the trade-off between sensitivity and specificity).


(NOTE: the * is the truncation symbol used to find variant endings to the root of a word. Eg. adolesc* will find adolescent or adolescents or adolescence.)

Evidence Based Practice: Step by Step Article Series from the American Journal of Nursing

CRITICAL APPRAISAL

A list of articles and websites to help guide you through the process of critically appraising research.

Evidence Based Practice/Nursing Books