Answered By: Vicki Sciuk
Last Updated: Sep 22, 2022     Views: 571


Your clinical question is a proposal for new research that should be done, so when you search for studies you are looking for articles that discuss the background of the problem, and what the research already shows, to support the need for your study. Students often misunderstand, and believe that they need to find a final answer to their question while researching the literature, but that is not the case. Remember, you are proposing why new research is needed on your topic, so you need to define why it's an important issue and what studies have been done, then explain why your idea should be tested. You are actually looking for a gap in the research, showing that your proposal has not been studied yet (or not well enough to recommend a change without more evidence). 

This Nursing Research Library Guide (LibGuide) has sections that will point you to resources where you can search for all parts of this project. Here are some pages to focus on for each part of your project:

  1. PICO Clinical Question
    This page has links to EBP information, and to PICO worksheets to help you develop your clinical question, and PICO search tools to get you started.
    Searching Tip: If you are not finding much using the PICO searches, only use the P & I parts of your question, which usually work better when you are beginning your research. Checking for a systematic review in CINAHL or the Cochrane Library is also a good way to see what has been tried, and identify if there are gaps in the research where new studies are needed.
  2. Annotated Bibliography
    This links to reliable Nursing databases & videos on how to search them; plus webpages about picking search terms and finding statistics (like the incidence or prevalence of a problem).
    Searching Tip: In CINAHL, the Advanced Search lets you easily start with a general search and then limit it by publication date, population, type of research, systematic reviews, EBP; or narrow it down by adding additional search terms. Use it to find background articles on your problem, potential solutions/treatments and new ideas that might need more studies.
    Annotation Tip: When reading the articles, concentrate on the methods and discussion sections. That will you help you to evaluate them, to see how they contribute to your question. How strong is each study? What limitations does each one have? How will each one fit into your final EBP research literature review? (for example - by defining the problem; or summarizing research on your topic; or showing any existing guidelines about your topic; or contributing a quantitative or qualitative research study to your paper, showing what has been tried already; or showing where there are areas that need further study). 
  3. Final Literature Review: EBP Synthesis & Discussion paper - This will be written like a final APA-formatted paper, in paragraph form, and contain an Introduction, Body, Discussion, and Implications section (for most classes, but if your professor has something different for the EBP Literature Review in Canvas, follow those instructions). 
    Writing Tip: Start with your annotated bibliography and any other relevant research you have found. Discuss all the studies in a logical order, grouping similar ones together, and pointing out the major findings, 
    quality of the evidence, controversies, similarities, differences, etc. Make sure to include brief in-text citations for the articles you are summarizing, which point to the full APA citations on your References page. If you find your ideas and clinical question changed once you began researching your topic, you can discuss that with the need for further research towards the end of your paper.

​Final Tip
: The links and video below can explain more and help you with these assignments, but it often helps the most to make an initial appointment for research help with a librarian, and an appointment for writing help with CAS using the links below. Either can be held on campus or over Zoom.

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