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finding NURSING INFORMATION: evaluating search results

types of nursing information    start with a good topic    decide what kind of information you need    search for journal articles    search for books    search for statistics    evaluating search results    getting full-text    journal title abbreviations    citing sources    getting citations automatically via e-mail   

Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint. - Mark Twain

stethescopeEvaluating journal articles

Not everything printed in a journal is of equal value. Some articles print only opinion (editorials and letters to the editor) while others can print the results of scientific studies. There is even a huge difference between scientific studies. The chart below gives some basic things to look for when reading a nursing research article:

Evaluating Quality of the Research

  • What was studied (content of the study)
  • What kind of study was it (study design)
  • Were the subjects randomly chosen/assigned?
  • Did person giving intervention know whether the subjects were in the experimental or control groups (blinding)?
  • How many subjects were there at the start of the study? What were their characteristics? What were the inclusion/exclusion criteria?
  • How many subjects dropped out before the completion of the study?
  • How long did the study last (time frame)? How long was the intervention administered?
  • What were the conclusions of study? For more information, the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine provides online worksheets for evaluating articles relating to diagnosis, prognosis, harm, aetiology, therapy, and systematic reviews of therapy.

Also, the library has a number of terrific books on:
evaluating medical research...check the following call number Q180.55.E9 G57 2001
understanding nursing research...check the following call number RT81.5 .B863 2007
appraisal and utilization of nursing research...check the following call number RT81.5 .N873 1986

stethescopeEvaluating websites

More and more people are relying on the web for medical information. The NIH (National Institutes of Health) has a short checklist of criteria to use when evaluating a medical website. 10 Things To Know About Evaluating Medical Resources on the Web.

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for help finding nursing information, contact: Valori.Banfi@uconn.edu
to comment on this tutorial, contact: Jill.Livingston@uconn.edu