Skip to Main Content

Nurses' guide to evidence-based practice

Basics on EBP concepts and resources at LLUH with a focus on the first three steps, ASK, ACQUIRE, and APPRAISE.

Guide to Searching Evidence in Select Databases

These are some of the databases that are helpful in finding evidence:

Finding Evidence in PubMed

Important: Launch PubMed from the Library website: http://www.llu.edu/library/
For PubMed tutorials, go to:
  http://www.nlm.nih.gov/bsd/disted/pubmedtutorial/cover.html

Basic Search
1. In the search box, enter search terms (use keywords); add study design not in Filters
2. Focus your results by using FILTERS given on leftmost column of the screen
         -ARTICLE TYPES: (show more filters) and select filters: systematic reviews, meta-analysis
        
-PUBLICATION DATES: select 5 years
3. Show additional filters: select language: English (optional; more for other languages)
         : select journal categories: nursing journals (optional)

(Apply filters carefully and conservatively)
EXAMINE YOUR RESULTS: start with breakdown of results in rightmost column.

Advanced Search
1. In the search box, enter search terms, using appropriate Boolean operator to combine terms
2. Select field categories to further define search
3. May use the option to map earlier searches in search history for a more focused search
4. Apply the same filters to narrow your results

Subject Heading Search:  
1. In the search box, enter search term (word or phrase) PubMed intelligence will map Non-thesaurus terms to thesaurus terms.
 2. Focus your results by selecting subheadings that apply
         -Add check boxes: i.e restrict to MeSH major topic (to cut results to size)
3. Add to search builder
4. Search PubMed will take you back to PubMed where you have access to the same filters

Clinical Queries:  Select Clinical Queries (quick access to clinical studies: by study categories, systematic reviews, and medical genetics)
1. In the search box, enter search terms
2. Select category (default is therapy)
    Adjust specificity by using either BROAD or NARROW focus
3. To apply filters, click on see all link at the bottom of the columns, and all results will display in PubMed where you have access to the same filters.

Finding Evidence in CINAHL

Basic Search
Watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oP1AGGipOS8

1. In the search builder, enter search terms (use Boolean operators); add study design not in Filters; add more rows as needed to enter more search terms (be conservative)
2. Apply filters or Refine search (note several options for EBN filters)
             -PUBLICATION DATE: limit to last 5 years (optional)
              -PUBLICATION TYPE:  select study filters: systematic reviews, meta-synthesis or analysis
            
-CLINICAL QUERIES: select type of clinical query
              -JOURNAL SUBSETS: select nursing journals (optional)
             -SPECIAL INTEREST: evidence-based practice
             -SUBJECT—MAJOR HEADINGS : offer record clusters by subject heading categories)
(Apply filters carefully and conservatively)
EXAMINE YOUR RESULTS: start with the source type:  academic journals
3. Customize display: choose cluster; sort option, page option, and share option
4. Detailed record: find similar results; find subject links, DOI number, tools, including permalink
5. Add to folder; display folder view, pdf or Linked to full-text

Advanced Search
Watch tutorial for advanced searching in CINAHL:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTvSwEZ1pP4
1. In the search builder, enter search terms, choosing appropriate supplied Boolean operator
2. Select field categories to define search by record fields
3. May use the option to map earlier searches in search history for a more focused search
4. Apply the same filters to narrow your results

Search History
1. In the search builder, enter search terms, choosing appropriate supplied Boolean operator
2. Select field categories to define search by record fields
3. Map searches in search history to add focus to new search using appropriate Boolean tabs
4. Option to re-run, view results, edit, save searches, save as Alerts 
5. Apply the same filters to narrow your results

Subject Heading Search
Check suggest subject terms box
1. In the search box, enter search term (one word or phrase) Non-thesaurus are mapped to  thesaurus terms.
2. Check box to choose subheadings; click on term to display tree structure
Please Refer to EbscoHelp page on Using CINAHL/MeSH Headings

Finding Evidence in Cochrane Library

Launch Cochrane Library

Advanced Search
1. Search by field categories; Default is Title, Abstracts, Keywords (apply appropriate Boolean operator)
2. Apply LIMITS by product type (select Reviews), status, and date options
4. Summary of records retrieved by categories are listed on the left column

Search Manager
Use this search option when you want to execute a more complicated thorough search using the MeSH terms Lookup feature; also when you want to save your search strategy for future use.
Click on + to add lines
Click on – to remove lines
Click on M to enter a MeSH term directly from the Thesaurus
Click on icon to select LIMITS by product type, status, and dates (optional)

MeSH Lookup takes you to the extensive thesaurus entry for your term.  (Loads slowly) and shows a breakdown of your search results, including other options (i.e. explode) to expand your search.  Update the Manager option allows you to update your recorded search strategy (if you made changes) and re-save it.

Browse
This feature allows you to browse total content of the Cochrane Library.

Helpful Tutorials:

How to Find Evidence using Cochrane Library?

Finding Evidence in Joanna Briggs Institute

Advanced Search

 Search by categories: keyword, Author, Title, Journal (apply appropriate Boolean operators)

Click on Multi-Field Search above the single search box to see the multiple search box screen to execute a more complicated thorough search using the record fields

Before you click Search, you can set a Limit to tell the database what type of resource you want.

Systematic Reviews: In the Publication Types box, scroll down and select Systematic Reviews by finding it in the list and clicking on it (it will then be highlighted)

Evidence Summaries are a type of Critically-Appraised Topic, a standardized one to two page summary of the evidence supporting a clinical question. They include a critique of the literature and a statement of relevant results.

Follow these steps after you have set up your search to find Evidence Summaries:

  1. Under the search boxes, click the word Limits to open the limiter menu.
  2. In the Publication Types box, scroll down and select Evidence Summaries by finding it in the list and clicking on it (it will then be highlighted).

Scroll down to see summary of records retrieved

Find Citation. Use this when you want to find a specific citation.

Go to My Workspace to create a personal account when you want to save your search strategy for future use.
 

Finding Evidence in TRIP

Check out the tutorial videos below, use our ‘tour’ to get in-context tips on what each area of Trip does or view our page of tips on functions such as Boolean searching, truncation and other more advanced functions.