You call it PICO, I call it PICOT!
See: Asking the PICOT Question to Ask, Appraise and Acquire Research Articles
Students should understand and be able to give examples of each part of the PICO(T) question and fill in a chart before searching.
After participating in the Peer Reviewed Literature Power Point training online, students should be able to:
Words can have ambiguous meanings. Use Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)
This is especially true in a natural language query such like Google searching or Googling. Using words that have multiple meanings gives mixed search results.
"Did the duck cross the road or did the man duck under the table?"
Enter the term gestational diabetes in the search box. CINAHL shows you the correct or preferred term you must use.
Check the box to the left of the preferred term and choose major heading.
The MeSH Tree, like the CINAHL Medical Subject Heading Index, shows you a hierarchy of terms to choose from.
Search the MeSH Browser to the MeSH TREE show: Gestational Diabetes This term appears in 3 trees: In the MeSH Browser page click on the first tree: C13.703.170.
What is the preferred MeSH concept for gestational diabetes?
In the PubMed Advanced search, we paste the term we copied into the advanced search box and choose the AND connector choice.
This online class session, "Finding Peer Reviewed Literature" is an introductory session that provides students with the basics of searching. CINAHL and PubMed. Students learn how to set up their MyFolder account in CINAHL and their MyNCBI accout in PubMed.
Students Learn the Advantages of Each Database System
Learning about the CINAHL Major Mesh Headings and how to use the Search History function is relatively easy for the novice searcher to grasp. These features, and using the "MyFolder Account" are the major benefits of the CINAHL database platform.
Once students have obtained a large result set, there are very few ways to remove unwanted article types, such as qualitative and quantitative research, clinical trials and randomized trials. This is one of the weaknesses of the CINAHL database platform. There are 81 types of literature in CINAHL. Only 11 types of literature are pertinent to most undergraduate research. Since undergraduate students are not expected to perform deep qualitative and quantitative research which is the backbone of Clinical Trials, Randomized Trials and the Cochrane Database, these results must be removed.
Preferred terms provide more dependable results
The current generation of students has grown up with Google (and McDonalds). Google is a natural language query and results are returned in an order called "Relevancy Ranking". Items with the most common terms are at the top of the list -- after paid advertising. The results include both peer-reviewed and non-peer reviewed articles, letters, blogs, newsletters, etc. It is difficult to quickly identify "Peer Reviewed" Literature.
Students use CINAHL Headings to find the preferred term and use the "Focused Search" technique. The focused search technique limits the search only to articles where the Major CINAHL preferred heading is in the subject line below the abstract.
We first work through examples in CINAHL, where they learn about preferred terms. Then work through examples in PubMed with knowledge we learned in CINAHL,
During our searches in CINAHL, we reveal the search history so that students can tick the search boxes. Students use the connector boxes to join or combine their searches. They use command language searching with the connector NOT (similar to PubMed). In search history, the student learns how to reformulate their search if they have no results.
Following these steps, we apply limiters or filters to the search, beginning with the date filter. The date filter is applied separately to test the query and find out if there is current literature on the subject. Then we use the advanced filters page below the date bar and apply other filters: peer review, english language, human, etc.
I show the undergraduate students how to remove large groups of articles in CINAHL that may not be relevant to their search: Clinical Trials, Randomized Trials, Cochrane Reviews. These articles are normally qualitative and quantitative research articles.
Lastly, we repeat the same searches in PubMed searching the Major MeSH Headings.
Upon completion of the basic class: students should be able to demonstrate each of the following:
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