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Evidence-Based Practice (SCGH): Search

Choose and Search Resources

Now that you have formulated a question and identified the best study type to answer your question, the next step is selecting an appropriate resource to search.

Hierarchy of Evidence

Start your search at the top of the hierarchy of evidence and work down. The higher up the hierarchy of evidence, the more reliable the evidence in answering clinical queries. Start at the top of the hierarchy and continue down until you find the answers you need.


Search Strategy

PICOTT Concepts Search Strategy
Patient or problem Parkinson's Disease Parkinson's Disease, tremor, bradykinesia
Intervention Bicycling Bicycling, cycling, stationary bike riding, assisted bike riding, bicycling exercise , asymmetrical pedaling, high-speed cycling intervals, rehabilitation/exercise, neurobehavioral model ....more
Comparison Nil
Outcome Reduce Tremor
Question Type Therapy Therapy
Study Type Randomised Controlled Trial or Cohort Study RCTs or cohort studies or case series 

Note: As this is an emerging area, it is unlikely that you will find RCTs or a systematic review. You may need to search further down the hierarchy for different types of clinical studies.

Where to Search

For evidence summaries and clinical guidelines:

For syntheses:

If you can't find what you need, search in primary resources.

Primary Resources

These resources contain original "primary" studies that you will need to appraise yourself. 
This includes meta analyses, randomised controlled trials, cohort studies, case-controlled studies, case series and reports, background information and expert opinion. 

You can filter for systematic reviews and other types of studies in most clinical databases.

The TRIP database searches secondary and primary studies simultaneously. 

Levels of Evidence and Grading


Advanced searching on APA PsycINFO  

Password: zTGW#J27

Conducting Systematic Reviews : Research Skills

Systematic reviews play an important role in health research. They provide a high level summary of studies and can inform policy and practice relevant to a particular area of inquiry. Understanding review methodologies is useful for those who wish to undertake a systematic review, or just read one.

Conducting Systematic Reviews video

How to Search

Formulate your question PICO or other
List key terms

What terms best describe each of the searchable concepts in your PICO?
Also list alternate terms

Choose most appropriate resource see Where to Search box on this page
Search each concept separately Remember that the PICO search strategy will usually include a search on P, I and C if applicable.
Combine search sets

After searching each term or concept, combine your searches using OR for like terms, AND to combine different concepts. 
See the Boolean tutorial for more information on how to combine your searches.

Apply limits & filters

Common limits are English language, Date range and Human
Only use Gender and Age if relevant.

Apply filters for type of study or type of question.

Review results If too many irrelevant results, consider adding another term or concept.
If not enough results, you may need to try a different term or different database.
For help, contact the library
Re-run search if necessary Repeat above steps and re-run search with new terms or in a new database. STOP when you find relevant evidence you can apply.

Boolean Logic

For more information, see Tutorials