Discussion Post: Searching Databases

Discussion Post: Searching Databases

First, the PICOT format was used to develop a formula for establishing an answerable and researchable question to make the process more effective when searching for research evidence by guiding the clinical inquiry and professional nursing decisions. The proposed PICOT question is: Among the incarcerated populations (Population), are infection prevention and control measures more effective (Intervention) than supportive care like mechanical ventilator support (Comparison) in improving the survival rate of COVID-19 patients (Outcome) over two weeks? (Time). The database search process was started by building a list of keywords based on the topic and PICOT question. The selected keywords for the database search are incarcerated populations, infection prevention and control measures, supportive care, mechanical ventilator, survival, and COVID-19. Two databases available in the Walden University online library were selected for this clinical inquiry, PubMed and CINAHL Plus with Full Text. The rationale was CINAHL Plus, with Full-Text database, has extensive collections of journals and e-books on nursing and health topics. At the same time, PubMed comprises the MEDLINE database and in process-citations.

Next, the strategies were examined to increase the accuracy and effectiveness of the electronic database search on the stated PICOT question. First, I attempted to reduce the article results using some of the selected keywords: incarcerated, infection prevention and control measures, supportive care, and COVID-19. However, I could not identify relevant articles about the particular research topic on the CINAHL Plus with Full-Text database. After numerous search attempts, I used the Walden Library’s PUBMED database. Using the search tool, I was able to identify relevant articles relating to the topic. When executing the search process, the terms COVID-19 and treatment were used to locate exact articles. As a result, I obtained 469 search results.

Due to time constraints, I could not read through all the search results; I used Boolean operators as my search strategy. The Boolean operators are connectors signified by AND, OR, NOT terms placed in between keywords to focus and limit the search in the library research database. In this case, the Boolean operators AND was used to link the keywords and generate the results containing both terms. For example, the search COVID-19 AND treatment yielded the best search results, consisting of 221 search results.

Next, I narrowed down the search using not only the selected keywords but dates of application, full-text availability and ages. Another search strategy was the use of search limits and facets to limit the scope of the returned and results. The database has the option of limiting results to articles published in the set timeframe. I also added limits by checking a scholarly peer-reviewed box to obtain high-quality and original research articles. As a result, I generated 28 results, which was more manageable to review than the initial 469 search results. After selecting the article in the PubMed database, I used the free/open full text option available under Full text links to access the articles. In instances where the full text articles were not available in the Walden Library, I filed a request through the document delivery services links.

By applying these search strategies techniques, I identified four relevant articles used in the research. Using both databases, I identified the original articles containing qualitative and quantitative data that would form the research bases on the clinical inquiry. The articles are:

  1. Adhikari, S. P., Meng, S., Wu, Y. J., Mao, Y. P., Ye, R. X., Wang, Q. Z., Sun, C., … Zhou, H. (January 01, 2020). Epidemiology, causes, clinical manifestation and diagnosis, prevention and control of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) during the early outbreak period: a scoping review. Infectious Diseases of Poverty, 9, 1.)
  2. Nicola, M., O’Neill, N., Sohrabi, C., Khan, M.M & Agha, M.A. (2020). Evidence based management guideline for the COVID-19 pandemic – Review article, International Journal of Surgery, 77, 206-216.
  3. Prem, K., Liu, Y., Russell, T. W., Kucharski, A. J., Eggo, R. M., Davies, N., Flasche, S., … Klepac, P. (May 01, 2020). The effect of control strategies to reduce social mixing on outcomes of the COVID-19 epidemic in Wuhan, China: a modelling study. The Lancet Public Health, 5, 5.
  4. Wiersinga WJ, Rhodes A, Cheng AC, Peacock SJ, Prescott HC. Pathophysiology, Transmission, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): A Review. 324(8):782–793.