Searching Skills Toolkit: Finding the Evidence, 2nd Edition
February 2014, ©2014, BMJ Books
Searching Skills Toolkit is an expert guide to help you find the clinical evidence you need more easily and effectively.
Clearly presented with useful tips and advice, flow charts, diagrams and real-life clinical scenarios, it shows the best methods for finding quality evidence. From deciding where to start, to building a search strategy, refining results and critical appraisal, it is a step-by-step guide to the process of finding healthcare evidence, and is designed for use by all health and social care professionals.
This second edition has been expanded with new chapters on searching for sources to support evidence-based management decision making and how to better enable your patients to make informed choices. It has also been fully updated to include new web sources, open source reference management software, and new training resources and exercises.
Searching Skills Toolkit is an ideal reference for doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, managers and decision makers, researchers and students.
Chapter 1 Introduction, 1
Evidence-based medicine, 1
Why search?, 2
How do you keep up to date, 4
Further reading, 5
Chapter 2 Where to start, 6
The hierarchy of evidence, 6
The hierarchy of searching, 7
1. How much time do I have?, 8
2. What type of publication am I looking for?, 10
3. Is my query about a specifi c topic?, 13
Chapter 3 Clinical information: sources, 15
Medical libraries, 15
The Internet, 15
Chapter 4 Searching the Internet, 26
Search engines and directories, 26
Evaluating material found on the World Wide Web, 29
Saving useful websites, 35
Chapter 5 Formulating searchable questions, 37
Types of question, 37
Breaking down the clinical scenario, 38
Identifying keywords, 39
Further reading, 39
Chapter 6 Building a search strategy, 41
Identifying synonyms, 41
Synonym sources, 42
Truncation and wildcards, 42
Combining terms (using Boolean operators), 46
Construction of the final search strategy, 47
Chapter 7 Free text and thesaurus searching, 50
Free text searching, 50
Thesaurus searching, 51
Chapter 8 Searching healthcare databases, 55
Finding the evidence: key steps, 55
Ovid Medline, 64
Cochrane Library, 73
Further reading, 80
Chapter 9 Refining search results, 81
Methodological fi lters, 85
Clinical Queries, 86
Sensitivity versus specificity, 87
Systematic reviews, 89
Further reading, 90
Chapter 10 Saving citations, 93
Reference management software, 94
Chapter 11 Citation pearl searching, 98
Related items, 98
Author search, 99
RSS feeds, 101
Chapter 12 Quality improvement and value: sources, 102
Examples of quality improvement and value questions, 102
Current awareness, 102
Searching for evidence on quality improvement and value, 103
Other useful sources of information, 105
Further reading, 114
Chapter 13 Patient information: sources, 115
Shared decision-making, 115
Poor quality health information, 116
Good quality health information, 116
Appraising online consumer health information, 117
Trusted information sources, 118
Rarer conditions, 120
Third-party assistance, 121
Patient decision aids, 121
Writing patient information, 122
Keeping up to date with patient information, 122
Further reading, 123
Chapter 14 Critical appraisal, 124
Critical appraisal checklists, 124
Further reading, 125
Chapter 15 Glossary of terms, 126
Appendix 1 Ten tips for effective searching, 135
Appendix 2 Teaching resources, 138
Record your favourite resources, 142
Caroline De Brún, Clinical Support Librarian, University
College London, UK
Nicola Pearce-Smith, Information Scientist, Department of Knowledge and Information Science, Oxford, UK
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