NURS779 Synthesis & Translation of Evidence

Building your search

You can search by:
  •   subjects (topics of articles)
  •   keywords (searching anywhere for that word)

The most thorough searches use both.
•Keywords search for exactly what you type (but nothing else)
•Subjects map to other related terms (but take a while to get added to the article and may not be the newest)

Brainstorming synonyms

Alternate names for your topic

  •   Prescription vs. OTC drug names

Acronyms or abbreviations

  • Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus vs. MRSA

British vs. American spelling

  • Haematology vs. hematology

Hyphen vs. no hyphen

  • Prepregnancy vs. pre-pregnancy

Related topics that could get you more articles

  •   “Video game” and “computer assisted therapy”

Building your search: Keywords

Try some search techniques to clean up your results!

  • search for words next to each other with double quotes
    • “cell phone”  vs.  cell AND phone
       
  • search for variations of a word with an asterisk (but be careful!)
    • Distract* = distract, distracts, distracting, distraction
    • App* = app, application, appliance, apple, apparition
       
  • group synonyms together with parentheses
    • Soup or salad and bread…
    • (soup OR salad) AND bread    vs.   soup OR (salad and bread)

Building your search: Subjects

Subjects are pre-defined by the database and require special tags to work. These tags differ by database:

  • Pubmed: [MeSH]     ("Cell Phone"[MeSH])

  • CINAHL: MH       (MH "Cellular Phone”)

  • PsycInfo: DE       (DE "Cellular Phones”)

  • Embase: /exp     ('mobile phone'/exp)

Example intervention search with keywords and subjects

("Smartphone"[Mesh] OR "Cell Phones"[Mesh] OR "Computers, Handheld"[Mesh] OR "Mobile Applications"[Mesh] OR "Video Games"[Mesh] OR iphone* OR ipad* OR tablet* OR “electronic device” OR “electronic devices” OR “cell phone” OR “cell phones” OR smartphone* OR “smart phone” OR “smart phones” OR “mobile phone” OR “mobile phones” OR app OR apps OR computer* OR “video game” OR “video games” OR Nintendo OR Sega OR Gameboy OR wii)

*Note: they are combined with OR because they are treated as similar concepts

Applying Common Search Filters

Other filters you can add to your search- just copy and paste these into your search box with AND in between.

  PubMed EMBASE CINAHL/PsycInfo
Date "last 10 years"[PDat] [2008-2018]/py

DT 2008-2018

English English[lang]

[english]/lim

LA English

Full PICO search

Combine each part of your PICO with AND in beween.  Be sure to use parentheses around groups of synonyms.

(child* OR adolescen* OR teen* OR preteen* OR pre-teen OR "pre-teens" OR youth*) AND ("Smartphone"[Mesh] OR "Cell Phones"[Mesh] OR "Computers, Handheld"[Mesh] OR "Mobile Applications"[Mesh] OR "Video Games"[Mesh] OR iphone* OR ipad* OR tablet* OR “electronic device” OR “electronic devices” OR “cell phone” OR “cell phones” OR smartphone* OR “smart phone” OR “smart phones” OR “mobile phone” OR “mobile phones” OR app OR apps OR computer* OR “video game” OR “video games” OR Nintendo OR Sega OR Gameboy OR wii)  AND pain AND (postop* OR post-op* OR postsurg* OR post-surg*)

*Note: This search is actually a PIOT (patient/ intervention/ outcome/ timeframe), not a PICO (patient/ intervention/ comparison/ outcome)