Q. How do I find nursing articles to answer my PICO clinical question?
Steps to researching your PICO question
- Identify the main keywords in PICO question
- For adults over age 65 (P) does a daily 30 minute exercise regimen (I) reduce the future risk of heart attack (O) compared with no exercise regimen (C)?
- Enter 2-3 of these keywords into the database search box. Do not copy and paste your entire PICO question into the search box.
- Before running your first search, use limiters to refine your results
- Publication date
- Scholarly journals
- Publication Type
- Identify which subjects the database is using to describe your topic. For example, some databases recognize abbreviations, but others don't. These subjects can vary database to database.
- Myocardial Infarction (instead of heart attack)
- Myocardial Infarction Prevention and Control (reduce future risk)
- Aerobic Exercises
- Aged: 65+ years
- Rerun your search using the database subjects you just identified. Use additional limiters, like age and geography, as needed. You may need to conduct multiple searches using a variety of search term combinations.
- If you have too few results, try taking out one or two of your search terms. If you have too many results, try adding an additional search term.
- Keep doing this process until you find at least one article that fits your topic. Then use the “Find similar articles” feature in the database to find additional articles on the same topic.
The following resources are a good place to start your literature search:
- Health Sciences and Nursing via ProQuest
- MEDLINE with Full Text via EBSCO
- Ovid Nursing Journals
- CINAHL Plus with Full Text via EBSCO
- Google Scholar
- Google for credible websites: Try adding "site:.gov" to your search to limit your results to those published on government websites
- Example search: heart attack prevention exercise site:.gov
Check out the following short videos for further information on conducting your search:
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