Skip to main content

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Guide

EBP Literature Search Process

EBP Literature Search Process

1. Identify a research topic, problem, or issue.

2. Using the PICO, identify elements of the research topic to focus the search.
    Patient/Problem *  Intervention  *  Comparison  *  Outcome

3. Using the PICO, develop a clinical question.
    In Patient X, is Intervention 1 more effect than the Comparison 2 to effect the desired Outcome?
    In Obese Women, is Diet more effective than Exercise in reducing BMI to 23?

4. List potential databases to search.
    CINAHL Complete  *  PubMed  *  Nursing & Allied Health (ProQuest)  *  Academic Search Complete, etc.

5. List search terms to be tested.
     Stroke  *  Cerebral Vascular Accident  *  Cerebrovascular Accident  *  CVA  *  Transient Ischemic Attack  *  TIA, etc.

6. Identify any limiting criteria.
     Age  *  Gender  *  Publication Type  *  Research Method  *  Date Range  *  Language, etc.

7. Formulate a Search Strategy using search terms, Boolean Operators (AND  *  OR), and identified limiters. 
     obesity AND diet AND exercise Filters: in the last 5 years, English, Adult: 19+ years, Female

8. Execute the search strategy in each database.

9. Evaluate results. Do the search results answer the Clinical Question?
    Do the search results address all the PICO elements and adhere to the search limiters?

10. Modify the search if necessary. Choose a different database. Choose different search terms. Modify limiters.

11. Screen results by Title and Abstract to determine inclusion.

12. Analyze each included study.

13. Combine and summarize findings to determine the answer to the Clinical Question.