Finding the Best Evidence: Formulating a Focused Question and Search Strategy
Learn how to formulate a focused question and turn it into a search strategy using TRIP and PubMed. Example scenario: "What's the evidence for prescribing antibiotics for a bad throat?"
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About Finding the Best Evidence: Formulating a Focused Question and Search Strategy
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Slide1Owen CoxallUniversity of Oxford Bodleian Health Care Libraries Finding the Best Evidence
Slide2Session objectives Formulate a focused question Turn a focused question into a search strategy Search TRIP & PubMed
Slide3Formulate a focussedquestion P atient / P roblem / P opulation I ntervention C omparison O utcome
Slide4ScenarioGerry, has had a bad throat for a few days and it’s making him feel miserable. He goes to his friendly GP wanting some antibiotics. However, his doctor isn’t sure whether there’s any benefit in prescribing them. What’s the evidence?
Slide5Focused questionP : sore throat I : antibiotics C : no antibiotics O : symptom relief Are antibiotics effective in relieving symptoms of sore throat?
Slide6Quick searchDemonstration www.tripdatabase.com
Slide7Hands-on Formulate a focused question Use your own question or one of the examples in your workbook Record the search terms you’re using Run a quick search on TRIP www.tripdatabase.com
Slide8Run a full search strategyWhy bother? Too few results Too many results Irrelevant results Submitting a funding proposal Writing a guideline Conducting a systematic review
Slide9Develop a search strategyUsing OR then AND to broaden then focus the search P I O Sore throat* or tonsillitis or pharyngitis Antibiotic* or antibacterial* or penicillin Symptom relief or Symptom alleviation and and
Slide10Combine terms withOR pharyngitis Sore throat Pharyngitis OR sore throat – either term can be present
Slide11Combine terms withAND Antibiotics AND sore throat – both terms must be present sore throat antibiotics
Slide13Searching tips:PubMed Subject searching - use MeSH Subject headings added to articles on Medline Search the MeSH Database Finding similar articles – use the ‘Related articles’ link
Slide14Hands-on Take your focused question: Run further searches on PubMed http://www.pubmed.gov
Slide15The Cochrane Library Specialist database including articles on clinical and cost effectiveness of interventions: Systematic reviews – Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews & DARE RCTs – Central Economic evaluations - NHSEED Free access in the UK at http://www.thecochranelibrary.com Other countries check “access options” at http://www.cochrane.org
Slide16The Cochrane Library:www.thecochranelibrary.com
Slide17Hands-on Take your focused question: Run a search on the Cochrane Library http://www.thecochranelibrary.com
Slide18Help PubMed Short online tutorials Quick guides to PubMed – basics, MeSH search and MyNCBI http://www.nlm.nih.gov/bsd/disted/pubmed.html The Cochrane Library Online tutorial – several languages http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/aboutus/demo/ User guides – several languages http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi- bin/mrwhome/106568753/HELP_Cochrane.html
Slide19Resources Cochrane Library www.thecochranelibrary.com PubMed www.pubmed.gov TRIP www.tripdatabase.com Other sources – CEBM web-site – EBM tools www.cebm.net