Before you begin searching for information it's important to know what you're looking for.
What makes a question answerable?
An answerable question is formed with your literature search in mind. It contains the "key concepts" or ideas that you can use to build your search. You will need to look for different types of information to answer different questions, and you may need to look in different places.
A patient scenario, situation or story, may include several questions, which should be formed separately as each will include different key concepts and lead to a different search.
A research topic may also include several questions, which should be formed separately as each will include different key concepts and lead to a different search. This is true for CQI and questions related to implementation as well.
There are two types of questions:
|Type of question||Best Evidence (pre-appraised and synthesized if available)|
|Diagnosis (differential or test)||Quantitative
Comparison to Gold Standard
Diagnostic validation studies
Randomized controlled trials
Observational studies (cohort or case control)
|Meaning||Qualitative, Mixed methods
Case studies, ethnography, grounded theory, phenomenologic approach
(i.e. barriers/facilitators to and methods for implementing research in practice)
|Quantitative, Mixed methods
Many of the above types of study methodologies can be used in implementation research, but additional types of studies such as evaluation studies and participatory action research and others can be used.
Stillwell, S. B., Fineout-Overholt, E., Melnyk, B. M., & Williamson, K. M. (2010). Evidence-Based Practice, Step by Step: Asking the Clinical Question: A Key Step in Evidence-Based Practice. AJN, American Journal of Nursing, 110(3), 58-61.