Locating and Evaluating Evidence Essay

Locating and Evaluating Evidence Essay

Boolean Operators and Systematic Reviews

In this unit you will tackle the methods of locating evidence, learning to develop systematic reviews of the literature that will help build your evidence for your particular PICOT question. You will be able to determine what the top three questions are that you must ask to develop your systematic review of the literature and database for a robust report on the evidence you seek.

PubMed Database Overview 

PubMed is a broad database that is used by clinicians internationally. This resource is invaluable to nurses since there are more than 19 million citations to articles that cover many areas of practice. You will learn to use this reliable free source of evidence.

Determining Key Questions for Systematic Reviews

In this unit you will have the opportunity to use key questions to search the literature database. For example, once you have decided on your PICOT question (i.e., is acetaminophen better for reducing children’s fevers than acetaminophen?), then you will learn how to plug that question into a database to deliver a systematic review of reliable evidence for your research.

Plan a Systematic Review

As you determine your key questions for the systematic review you will then have the opportunity to plan a systematic review, determining which database and search method you will use. This step is the step that helps you strategize where and how you will enter your clinical questions to have reliable research results. For example, you may decide that you will use PubMed and the Boolean term of AND for your search terms.

After completing this unit, you should be able to: 

  • Choose between Boolean operators and ʺlimitsʺ when conducting systematic reviews.
  • Describe three unique features of the PubMed database.
  • Apply three key questions to be used when deciding which database to use for information search.
  • Plan a systematic review.