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NUR2 513 Library Course Guide

This course guide was created for students enrolled in NUR2 513 Fall 2017.

Inspiring quotation

"IF I HAD AN HOUR TO SOLVE A PROBLEM AND MY LIFE DEPENDED ON IT.

I WOULD USE THE FIRST 55 MINUTES DETERMINING THE PROPER QUESTIONS TO ASK."   

(Incorrectly attributed to Albert Einstein in many forms, but makes the point)

 

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" 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:

  • Background questions are about general knowledge and can best be answered using textbooks.
    • Example: what are warts?
    • Go to STEP 2 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:
     
    Type of question Best Evidence (pre-appraised and synthesized if available)

    Prevention

    (questions about the effectiveness of interventions to prevent morbidity or mortality)

    Quantitative
    Randomized controlled trials
    Prospective studies

    Therapy

    (questions about the effectiveness of treatments or other interventions to improve patient outcomes)

    Quantitative
    Randomized controlled trials

    Diagnosis (differential or test)

    (Differential: questions about a possible diagnosis given a patient's signs or symptoms)

    Test: questions about specific diagnostic tests and how well they work)

    Quantitative
    Prospective Studies
    Comparison to Gold Standard
    Diagnostic validation studies

    Etiology/Harm

    (questions about a harmful effect or exposure on)

    Quantitative
    Observational studies (cohort or case control)

    Prognosis

    (questions about how likely it is for a patient to develop a disease or condition or side-effect, or the probable course of a disease)

    Quantitative
    Observational studies (cohort or case control)

    Economics

    (questions about cost of healthcare)

    Quantitative
    Cost-effectiveness studies

    Meaning

    (questions about patients' experiences and concerns.)

    Qualitative, Mixed methods
    Case studies, ethnography, grounded theory, phenomenologic approach

    Implementation

    (questions about 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.
    • 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, or search for evidence by type of question using:

IMPORTANT! Don't forget to identify your key concepts or ideas first!

 

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.

 

Tools & worksheets:

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.

Video- Asking Answerable Questions

Liaison Librarian

Francesca Frati's picture
Francesca Frati
Contact:
Schulich Library of Physical Sciences, Life Sciences and Engineering
Macdonald-Stewart Library Building
809 rue Sherbrooke Ouest
Montréal, Québec H3A 0C1
(514) 398 1277
Subjects:Nursing

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