Literature Search

Phase 2: Literature Search

The second phase of evidence-base practice is the literature search. This is the phase in which you find the evidence to either support a change in practice or to be lead into further research.  Equipped with your PICO question you will begin searching for existing studies that have been conducted on your topic. There is a vast amount of information out there. Please refer to chapter 3 in your textbook, Gathering and Appraising the Literature for skills and tools to help you in your search. Table 3.2 (p. 51), Table 3.3 (p.53), and Table 3.4(p.56) provide guidelines and databases for your search. Please remember many of these databases are included in your library resources made available to you through PHSSN and your parent university. As you do your literature search, please keep in mind the hierarchy of evidence. The systematic reviews and meta-analysis will provide the strongest evidence so you will want to focus on finding those types of studies. The next strongest level of evidence will be your randomized controlled studies and so forth. Gather 4-7 research articles on your topic. It is often helpful to simply review the abstracts of articles at first in selecting the articles and later you can go through the article more comprehensively. Appraise your articles for relevancy, validity, and reliability. Please use current articles, articles published within the last 5-7 years.



With your group begin your literature search. Record the key words that you use and your search results. For example: I want to research blood pressure readings in pediatrics. I would use the keywords: blood pressure, pediatrics. I would then record how many articles are pulled up. I might want to use Boolean terms to either broaden or narrow my search. I would then record that as well. For example: Blood Pressure AND pediatrics would narrow my search and I would record this. Next you will be selecting the articles that best provide evidence for your PICO question. It is helpful to read through the abstracts in deciding which articles will work best. I would like each of you to select an article. You will need to work together to make sure you all do not select the same articles. Once you all have an article I would like you to critique the article to ensure the study is valid and reliable. Please use the guidelines set out in our article critiques, Chapter 18 for quantitative articles and Chapter 7 for qualitative articles. You will need to send the critique to me. An important part of this class is that you are able to critically read and evaluate research. Once we are through this process, you will need to interpret and record the main points of your article. What does the research tell us, what is the researchers’ recommendation? 

Learning Activity

· Conduct a literature search, record key terms and results.

· Select research articles of the highest level of evidence.

· Critique the article and submit to the instructor.

· Highlight the main points and recommendations from each research article. 

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