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SJHC e-Library: Research Guides

HOW TO START YOUR SEARCH

Determine the type of information you need. The questions that arise are typically divided into Background or Foreground questions:

BACKGROUND QUESTIONS

  • Ask for general knowledge
  • Disease processes or clinical contexts
  • They ask "who, what, when, why, where or how" about a single disease, drug, intervention or concept
  • Secondary sources such as textbooks, ebooks, nursing/medical reference sources and review articles can provide relevant and reliable answers
  • Clinical guidelines and other evidence based medicine resources will help answer these questions

 

FOREGROUND QUESTIONS

  • Ask for specific knowledge
  • Applied to specific patient and/or problem
  • Often compare two things: two drugs, two treatments, the prognosis of two groups, two diagnostic tests, etc.
  • Requires primary sources that synthesize a wide range of knowledge
  • Requires a comprehensive search of the literature
  • Requires a search strategy using PICO (please refer to Evidence-Based Medicine section of the library website)

 


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George Pennal Library, St. Joseph's Health Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.