OneSearch - Search for Articles, Books & More
Synonyms can very helpful throughout your investigative and research process. Using synonyms with boolean operators can potentially expand your search. Databases with subject headings or controlled vocabularies like MeSH in PubMed often have a thesaurus that can match you with appropriate terms.
Boolean operators allow you to manipulate your search.
Use AND to narrow your search
eg. elderly AND diabetes
Use OR to broaden your search
eg. myocardial infarction OR heart attack
Use NOT to exclude terms from your search
eg. children NOT infants
Use quotation marks to search for phrases. When you surround your search terms with quotation marks, you are telling the database that the words must appear as an exact phrase. Searching for the terms with no quotation marks gives us results that contain synonyms and MeSH terms.
PICOTT is a mnemonic used to describe elements of a good clinical foreground question to be directly relevant to the patient or problem at hand. The PICOTT model is used in evidence-based practice to assist in formulation of the search strategy by identifying the key concepts that need to be in the article that can answer the question..
PICO or PICOTT:
PATIENT OR PROBLEM
How would you describe a group of patients similar to yours? What are the most important characteristics of the patient?
INTERVENTION, EXPOSURE, PROGNOSTIC FACTOR
What main intervention are you considering? What do you want to do with this patient?
What is the main alternative being considered, if any?
What are you trying to accomplish, measure, improve or affect?
Type of Question
Therapy / Diagnosis / Harm / Prognosis / Prevention
Type of Study
Systematic review / RCT / cohort study / case control
1) Develop 'answerable question' using PICOT
2) Search one term or concept at a time
3) OR together synonyms
4) AND for joining concepts together
5) Consider limits for publication types, age, human, and evidence-based
6) Critically appraise articles retrieved
7) Revise search if appropriate