Planning your search
This section of the guide will cover:
If you are unsure what Boolean operators are, this video (from LTHTR Blended Learning) covers the basics.
The Search Operators tutorial, from The University Manchester, goes through Boolean operators in more detail, with examples and activities to test your knowledge.
For more information on how to use Boolean operators in CINAHL see the Searching CINAHL page.
For Evidence Based Practice (EBP) searches, you will often be expected to break down your question into its key concepts using an EBP formula such as PICO, PIO and PEO. If you are unsure what PICO/PIO/PEO is, this written guide explains it in more detail and includes some example questions, question structures and search strategies.
The Creating a PICO Scenario tutorial, from The University of York, also explains the PICO formula and has some examples and activities to test your knowledge.
It is important to plan a search strategy before beginning your research. This will help you decide what you want to find and will save you time in the future. The written guidance and video tutorial below explain how to do this in a structured way.
|Written Guidance||Video Tutorial|
As part of the standard childhood immunisation schedule, Sarah has been asked to bring her 13 month old daughter into her local doctor's surgery for the MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccination. Sarah has carried out some online research about the MMR vaccine and is worried that it can lead to an increased risk of autism. During her consultation with the GP, she asks why her healthy child should be put at risk, especially as “measles is a minor illness."
After reading the scenario which of the following do you think are the main keywords or concepts? Which are the ones you would choose when searching in an online database? Click the boxes to see what we thought.
So far we have identified the key concepts from the scenario, which framework it fits into and which components fit where. Next we need to put it into a research or clinical question. What do you think you could use for this scenario? See the written guidance and read our example below.