The ability to use information technology to access medical information is an essential skill.
This module will provide tutorials to address this needed skill.
Outcomes for the Intermediate module:
1. Students will be understand the components of a well formed clinical research question.
2. Students will be able to identify various types of search techniques.
3. Students will demonstrate the ability to perform an advanced search within a medical database using the components of a clinical research question.
The keywords used to develop a successful search are derived from a PICO formatted research question.
The PICO Model helps to define the parameters of a research question clearly by outlining the categories that should be the primary focus.
PICO stands for: Patient/Population/Problem, Intervention, Comparison, and Outcome
Example PICO research question:
In older adults, hospitalized with pneumonia, is manual osteopathic treatment effective in reducing acute length of stay?
|P||Patient/Population||Older adults with pneumonia|
|C||Control||No manual therapy|
|O||Outcome||Reduce length of stay|
Additional clinical question frameworks:
PEO = Population, Exposure, Outcome
PIE = Population, Intervention, Effect
FINER = Feasibility, Interesting, Novel, Ethical, Relevant
SPICE = Setting, Perspective, Intervention, Comparison, Evaluation
SPIDER = Sample, Phenomena of Interest, Design, Evaluation, Research Type
If your research question does not/not yet fit any of these formats, to start your search pull out the key words in your research question and list synonyms of those terms to expand your search results.
Basic Searching (a.k.a. "Googling"):
Example: (Older adults AND pneumonia) will search for articles which contain both terms, thus limiting the search results.
Example: (Older adults OR elderly) will search for articles with either terms, thus expanding the search results.
Example: (Older adults NOT adolescents) will produce search results that have eliminated any articles that contain that term.
Each medical database is unique. Learning the different aspects of each database will help you to determine which will provide the search results unique to your research question.
Database & Resource Help provides tutorials for each database.
To determine which databases fit best with your field of study refer to your toolkit: