Method 1: Creating a Search Strategy from your PICO Question
Identify the details of your topic in order to compose a question.
Clinical Question (example): Is handwashing effective in reducing hospital acquired infections?
|Questions||Example Answers||Search Terms|
|Describe the PATIENT/PROBLEM
(Ex: illness, condition, age, gender, ethnicity)
|hospital acquired infection||cross infection||nosocomial infection|
|What is the INTERVENTION
(Ex: medication, diet, activity, or method)
|handwashing||hand disinfection||hand sanitation|
|Are you making a COMPARISON
(Ex: alternate treatment, medication, or method)
What is the intended OUTCOME
|reduced infection||see first box||see first box|
*MeSH (Medical Subject Headings) - set of terms used in biomedical databases to "tag" the subjects contained in articles.
Click here for a tutorial on MeSH
**Keywords - text found in articles or article titles that describe the subject; similar topics; synonyms.
Method 2: Identifying Key Issues
1. Highlight keywords and phrases in your research question. These become your key concepts.
Example: How does violence in the media affect children?
Concept 1: Violence Concept 2: Media Concept 3: Children
2. Brainstorm synonyms for each identified concept.
Concept 1: Violence ---> aggression
Concept 1: Media---> television, TV, movies, film
Concept 3: Children---> adolescents, teenagers, teens, youth, child
3. Use Boolean Operators to connect your terms:
Concept 1 Concept 2 Concept 3
Example: (violence OR aggression) AND (media OR television OR TV OR movies OR film) AND (children OR adolescents OR teenagers OR teens OR youth OR child)
4. Enter your terms into the database.
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