Once you have formulated a good clinical question using the PICO process, the second step in the EBDM process is developing a search strategy to facilitate an effective computerized search of the scientific literature. This allows an efficient search of the best external evidence for answering your question. Finding relevant evidence requires conducting a very focused search of the peer-reviewed professional literature based on the appropriate methodology. When outlining the search strategy it is important to first identify the type of question being asked and then the related research method or study design that is most appropriate.
The PICO Worksheet and Search Strategy Form provides a format to identify key concepts, determine relevant alternative terms and outline inclusion criteria (publication year, gender, age, language and other limits). It also directs you to identify the type of question being asked and the publication type (methodology) related to the question. Selecting the databases and websites to search for valid evidence is the final step in structuring your search strategy.
Online databases and software enable quick access to the literature that have made it easier to locate relevant clinical evidence. Knowing what constitutes the highest levels of evidence, and how to apply evidence-based filters and limits will let you search the literature with maximum efficiency.
Levels of Evidence
Where to search for Evidence
One of the free resources is
how the PubMed database is structured and its features will help you search
the literature with maximum efficiency. The PubMed
tutorial walks through all the steps of a search and explains each
PubMed feature and tool so that users understand the language, or how
information on the database is indexed.