Diagram (adapted from Haynes 2006) shows a model for the organization of some quantitative studies. Different types of studies are located at different levels of the hierarchy of evidence. All types of studies may be found published in journals, with the exception of the top two levels.
RECAP: The five steps of evidence-based medicine/nursing (or evidence-based practice) are:
Common Asked Questions when conducting a Literature Review of the Literature:
1) When do I know that I should stop searching?
Look for key works on your topic or seminal works should appears in multiple references. More importantly, plan accordingly to meet deadline for submitting your work to your professor/committees.
2) If there is not a lot of information, where should I search?
Try searching for dissertations on your topic. Usually, these documents, when available in full-text, will include an extensive literature review section. Research instruments or surveys are also included on the appendices of these documents.
3) Tips for improving the searching experience?
When in doubt, please contact me or another librarian. This will save you some time and effort. We search everyday and are familiar with specialized resources, such as grey literature (i.e. non-commercial literature freely available online) and other sources.
Example of a clinical question:
“9 month old feverish girl with noted sores in her mouth for 2 days. She is restless and crying. The mother reports that her daughter is resisting her bottle. The nurse practitioner suspects herpes gingivostamatitis and is wondering about the effectiveness of acyclovir”
Patient, Problem, Population
Young children with possible herpes gingivostomatitits
Intervention, Prognostic Factors, Exposure
How good is acyclovir
Comparative Intervention, Comparison
Compared to placebo
In the rate of curing herpes gingivostamatitis
Essential research databases for most topics pertaining to nursing:
* When searching CINAHL, limit your search to "Evidence Based" for EBP resources.
Other health sciences databases, including multidisciplinary and specialized sources may be worthwhile to use. TIP: When possible, consider searching databases with the same interface at one time (duplicate records will be removed).
Health Sciences Databases
Other Specialized Databases
Searching by Keywords in CINAHL
On the left side of the results page, click on the Age limiter. Limit your search further to the population as described in PICOT. Tip: Click on "Show more" link to ensure all options are shown. Did you find relevant publications?
Remember: Dissertations and theses are not peer-reviewed publications.
Whether in print or online, books are excellent sources to help us explore, decide on a topic, find definitions, overviews or background information.
PubMed -- Clinical Queries
This search filter provides citations to the evidence-based literature in the following five areas:
PubMed -- Systematic Reviews
This search filter provides citations to the highest levels of evidence including:
PubMed -- Focused Topic Searches
This is a directory of pre-built concentrated searches on a variety of different topics.