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NUR1 224 Library Course Guide

This course guide was created for students enrolled in NUR1 224 Fall 2017.

Asking Answerable Questions

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" that you can use to build your search.

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. You will also need to look for different types of information to answer different questions, and you may need to look in different places.

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.

There are two types of questions:

  • Background questions are about general knowledge and can best be answered using textbooks.
    • Example: what are warts?
    • Go to STEP 1 on the menu on the left to learn how to answer a foreground question.
       
  • Foreground questions are more specific and relate to patient care or research. There are several types of foreground question, and each is best answered by a different type of study.

  • Example Therapy question: Is duct tape an effective treatment option for cutaneous warts in children?
  • Go to STEP 2 on the menu on the left to learn how to answer a foreground question.

Use PICO or PICOT to define your foreground question (see below for more information about PICO and why it's useful):

P = Patient/Population (the person or group you are working with)

I = Intervention (this can be a treatment, test, or something else you plan to use with your patient)

C = Comparison (this can be left blank if you aren't comparing two interventions)

O = Outcome (what you would like to achieve)

(T) = Time factors (does it matter when the treatment or test is given?)

 

Additional reading:

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.

Search strategy worksheet

Use this worksheet to create your search. Using it will result in more successful searching! Bring it to your meeting with the librarian.

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