As you begin, your search should consider:
Your research topic/question.
Break down your topic into key concepts or categories to formulate a clear clinical question.The PICO process will help enable you to do this.
The clinical question needs to identify:
Patient or population we intend to study
Intervention or treatment we plan to use
Comparison of one intervention to another
Outcome we anticipate
For further information on PICO please click here.
Search Strategy Checklist
Once you have your research question you can create a range of search terms:
Synonyms, e.g.. aged; elderly
Acronyms, e.g. UTI
Differences in terminology across national boundaries, e.g. pediatrics/paediatrics.
Differences in spelling
Brand & generic names
Law & medical terminology
Also consider any limitations in your search:
Search the Databases
Other core resources include:
Literature Searching Online e-Learning Modules
These free online modules are designed to help the healthcare workforce (clinical and non-clinical) build confidence to search published literature for articles and evidence relevant to their work, study and research. The modules are short (each taking no more than 20 minutes to complete) and may be ‘dipped into’ for reference, or completed to obtain a certificate.
Please note that you will need to register on the e-LfH website if you wish to record your activity.
There are seven modules suitable for novice searchers and those wishing to refresh their knowledge:
Building the foundations
Module 1 Introduction to searching
Module 2 Where do I start searching?
Module 3 How do I start to develop a search strategy?
Developing the skills
Applying the skills