Once you have your clinical question worked out (Step 1 in the EBP process), you need to Acquire the evidence, which is the next step. Try to be methodical as you do this and you'll find you retrieve much more relevant search results. Before you start looking, work out a Search Strategy. This may change as you go on, but it's good to begin with a plan!
Steps in a Search Strategy
For example, using the scenario described earlier:
|Framework element||Concept||Possible search terms|
|P (Population)||People living in aged care facilities||Aged OR elderly OR frail OR|
|I (Intervention)||Cranberry juice||Cranberr* OR Vaccinium|
|C (Comparison)||no cranberry juice|
|O (Outcome)||Urinary tract infection prevention||"Urinary tract infection*" OR UTI|
Thus, your basic search will be something like this:
(Aged OR elderly OR frail) AND (Cranberr* OR Vaccinium) AND ("Urinary tract infection" OR UTI)
For more information about search strategies, head to the Evidence-Based Practice guide again, or to the Systematic Review Guide - Develop your search strategy.
Some databases focus on specifically indexing secondary, pre-appraised research. This is very handy if you want to know what the overall picture is when all the evidence is appraised and combined in a meta-analysis or systematic review. Here are a couple of examples in health:
The Cochrane Library is available from the Cochrane Collaboration website but also through CSU library.
All these resources be accessed from the A-Z Journal Databases page. For information on other databases you might find helpful please see Where to Search for Evidence in the Evidence-Based Practice Guide.
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