Skip to Main Content

Evidence-Based Practice

Background & Foreground Information

When planning a search strategy to uncover evidential research, build your search using two separate types of information. 

Background Information

Builds a solid foundation of general knowledge using basic summary descriptions and discussions of causes, symptoms, treatment, prevention, etc. You can find background information in:

  • Textbooks
  • Handbooks
  • Encyclopedias

Foreground Information

Lays bricks on your background foundation with specific knowledge that guides your information search. Looking for foreground information requires structured research questions in the form of PICO or other recognized approaches that look for particular populations that focus on patient specifics like age, gender, etc., and the use of advanced search strategies in databases with specialized search options.

Foreground information is necessary for clinical decision making and usually falls into one of four categories:

  • Therapy
  • Diagnosis
  • Prognosis
  • Etiology

Search Strategies for Evidence-Based Practice

The following webpages provide a detailed look into advanced search strategies in evidence-based literature searching in PubMed. Remember that your subject librarian is here to help! If you are looking for evidence-based research, contact your subject librarian to work together to form your research question and search strategy.