Below is an example to demonstrate how the main concepts from a research topic or question become keywords and how synonyms or related terms can broaden your search:
Now that you've created your list of keywords, you will need to combine them using BOOLEAN operators (AND and OR):
Typically used in evidence-based medicine, the PICO model is a useful way of formulating client, community, or policy-related research questions. A well-built question or problem should include the four components of the model: Problem, Intervention, Comparison and Outcome.
See below for a client-problem research question example:
|Problem||Describe the client/patient. Important descriptors might include: age and gender. Then describe the problem the patient is experiencing. For example, you might say, "A four-year-old boy with PTSD"|
|Intervention||Describe the intervention or treatment you are considering for the client/patient. For example, "EMDR psychotherapy" for the child.|
|Comparison||Ask yourself if there is a main alternative intervention that exists for the problem that you wish to use as a base of comparison. Example: "cognitive-behavioral therapy." (Note: you may not always wish to compare interventions, so sometimes this part of your research question will be omitted.)|
|Outcome||Ask yourself what result you want to see because of the therapy. Example: "decreased PTSD symptoms, such as nightmares"|
Search more effectively and efficiently by using the tools and limiters that are part of each database, including these:
Publication Date: When doing research for EBM, you usually limit your search to articles from the last 3-5 years.
Publication Type: Limit your search to certain kinds of articles or research. Other options besides those shown here include comparative studies, systematic reviews, and randomized controlled trials.
Reviews: These present authors' findings after they have reviewed multiple previously-published research articles and can provide valuable information about trends in a field.
Age Groups: Limit by patient characteristics including age and sex.