Searching Databases

When you decide to purchase a new car, you first decide what is important to you. If mileage and dependability are the important factors, you will search for data focused more on these factors and less on color options and sound systems.

The same holds true when searching for research evidence to guide your clinical inquiry and professional decisions. Developing a formula for an answerable, researchable question that addresses your need will make the search process much more effective. One such formula is the PICO(T) format.

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In this Discussion, you will transform a clinical inquiry into a searchable question in PICO(T) format, so you can search the electronic databases more effectively and efficiently. You will share this PICO(T) question and examine strategies you might use to increase the rigor and effectiveness of a database search on your PICO(T) question.

To Prepare:

  • Review the materials offering guidance on using databases, performing keyword searches, and developing PICO(T) questions provided in the Resources.
  • Review the Resources for guidance and develop a PICO(T) question of interest to you for further study.

Melnyk, B. M., & Fineout-Overholt, E. (2018). Evidence-based practice in nursing & healthcare: A guide to best practice (4th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer.

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  • Chapter 2, “Asking Compelling Clinical Questions” (pp. 33–54)
  • Chapter 3, “Finding Relevant Evidence to Answer Clinical Questions” (pp. 55–92

Davies, K. S. (2011). Formulating the evidence based practice question: A review of the frameworks for LIS professionals. Evidence Based Library and Information Practice, 6(2), 75–80. https://doi.org/10.18438/B8WS5N. Retrieved from https://ejournals.library.ualberta.ca/index.php/EBLIP/article/viewFile/9741/8144

Stillwell, S. B., Fineout-Overholt, E., Melnyk, B. M., & Williamson, K. M. (2010a). Evidence-based practice, step by step: Asking the clinical question: A key step in evidence-based practice. American Journal of Nursing, 110(3), 58–61.

doi:10.1097/01.NAJ.0000368959.11129.79. Retrieved from https://journals.lww.com/ajnonline/Fulltext/2010/03000/Evidence_Based_Practice,_Step_by_Step__Asking_the.28.aspx

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Post your PICO(T) question, the search terms used, and the names of at least two databases used for your PICO(T) question. Then, describe your search results in terms of the number of articles returned on original research and how this changed as you added search terms using your Boolean operators. Finally, explain strategies you might make to increase the rigor and effectiveness of a database search on your PICO(T) question. Be specific and provide examples.

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