Searching the Literature in Health Part 2: How to search: The basics

welcome to part two of searching the literature
in health from Southern Cross University. Searching effectively can seem very daunting.
In this video we will equip you with some tools to take your vague research idea organize
it into a table of keywords using the key concepts of the question and also we�ll
demonstrate some standard database research conventions. In the next video we will demonstrate
the search from the table into the synonyms in our database. Here are some secret librarian
tips you can use to make your searching more efficient and effective. I'm going to start
with the following example. You are working with elderly people in a residential setting
and are wondering if there's evidence that the annual flu vaccinations actually reduce
morbidity. The first step is to isolate the key
concepts of your problem. This can be helped by using the Pico model pit that's P I C O
which helps to unpack the concepts into population or phenomenon of interest, intervention in
this case the flu vaccination comparison and outcome the outcome being reduce morbidity.
Other models are available for qualitative research questions.

To organize my concepts
I'm going to start a table in PowerPoint you could create one in Word or with paper and
pencil, making a column for each concept I'm going to add some more synonyms to these
columns shortly. Before I do let's look at some useful search techniques.
Keywords and synonyms. Here's where you get to brainstorm all of the different terms that
you can use starting with the population which is elderly people. Here are some alternative
phrases or synonyms like older people aged in old age geriatric frail aged etc. Also
consider variations on a word which might include American
or Australian spellings.

Now too Boolean logic. Boolean searching uses three simple operators
or commands AND OR NOT. We apply these to our concepts to simplify our searching let's
start with OR which is used to make sure that all of possible keyword variations within
a concept are included. Searching hand-washing or hand hygiene will retrieve
all articles which contain either of those terms and you can have more than one OR. When
we use AND each article must include both of the terms hospital-acquired infection and
hand-washing and always gives you a smaller number of results.
The last one is a NOT search which is sometimes used to eliminate a term that you do not want
which might appear in a lot of irrelevant articles but be careful because sometimes
articles may include a word such as children but the article still might be quite suitable
anyway.

Here are some sample Boolean searches. In the first row adolescents OR teenagers
are synonyms so we put an OR between them and the brackets around them
mean that they are searched first and then that search will be combined with AND with
the term aggression. This will narrow it down. The more ANDs you have as in the second example
the narrower it will become like women AND breastfeeding AND indigenous. In the third
example we have created nests one is the flu nest in round brackets the second nest is
the vaccination terms and it is combined with AND and the last example is a NOT example.
Some other techniques include phrase searching and these are used for terms like �quality
of life� just put double quotes or inverted commas around the actual phrase. The words
are then searched in that order. Truncation symbols
retrieved variant word endings.with the asterisk symbol. You see educat* asterisk retrieves
any words starting with the stem word educat.

In the second example we may have put the
asterisk a little far back in the word as you'll see the words on the bottom that are
highlighted in red may not be what we want so maybe it'd be better to put the asterisk
after the S or Z. Wild cards work within a word to get variations. A typical one is S
or Z, woman or women etc so the # could be an A or an E and S or Z. use
the # symbol for one or no letters in EBSCO databases so the # Oh will retrieve either
OU or Ohwith no letters and Ageing no letters or E.

Now we are going to
combine all of these techniques into our search table so first of all under elderly people
I'm going to put the term elderly people also or the term old aged or frail aged or geriatric
and with influenza vaccine alternatives words could be influenza or flu and vaccination
OR immunization OR flu vaccine Influenza vaccine as a phrase. In our outcome area we have morbidity
or effectiveness or efficiency or outcome. I think those words could be helpful as
well so now we're ready to search. We will open CINAHL in the next video and we will
use these search terms. This is the end of our presentation..

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