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Library Training Modules

Library instruction series to improve evidence-based practice and research skills among students, faculty and staff of ATSU

Module Description

In this module, participants will learn how to transform a clinical research question into the PICO format and how to combine PICO terms with Booleans to perform an Advanced medical database search for evidence.

No prior research experience is required to attend.  

Participants are encouraged to bring questions related to assignments or research projects. 

Please take a moment to go through the Module Prep Activities prior to the Module Training. 

If you require any access accommodations or would prefer to meet 1:1 with a librarian:

Module Objectives

Participants in the Research Question Development & Advanced Search Training Module will: 

1. Identify the components of a well formed clinical research question (PICO format). 

2. Combine the PICO terms, Booleans and Synonyms to perform an advanced search within a medical database.

Module Prep Activities

Please consider the prep activities as a way stimulate your thoughts prior to attending the module. Which are the areas where you may have the least experience? Where do you need further instruction? This prep activity will be reviewed during the module. 

1. Choose a scenario: 

  • Scenario 1: Among postpartum mothers, do group therapy sessions diminish symptoms of depression. 
  • Scenario 2: Does manual manipulative treatment improve the respiratory function of adult long-haul COVID patients. 
  • Scenario 3: In adult men, are non-narcotic analgesics more effective at relieving post-operative oral pain. 

2. Identify the following components of the chosen scenario:

  • Who/what is the patient/population or problem?
  • What is the chosen intervention?
  • Is there a control intervention? If so, what is it? 
  • What is the desired outcome? 

3. What are some additional terms/synonyms used to refer to each of the above components?

  • Patient/population/problem synonyms:
  • Intervention synonyms
  • Control synonyms
  • Outcome synonyms

4. Consider examples of search strategies you would use to locate background and clinical information.