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Planning a structured search in health (Open Learning)

Planning your search in health

Laptop covered in post-it notesThese pages aim to introduce you to the principles of planning a structured search in the health disciplines. 

Planning your search can help you decide what you want from your research and can save you time.



By the time you have completed this tutorial you should be able to:

  • Work out how to identify the main keywords (and useful synonyms (alternative keywords)) for a research question/topic
  • Understand what Boolean operators are and how to use them
  • Recognise the evidence based practice frameworks PICO/PIO/PEO and understand how they can help to structure your search
  • Use different advanced searching techniques in a search
  • Utilise the advice given to plan searches in future projects/assignments

Alternative formats

If you prefer to view this tutorial as either a Word document. PDF or as a video, select the Alternative Formats option from the left hand menu.


Time allowance

This tutorial should take 15 mins to complete.