NURS 509: Needs AssessmentAssignmentFinding Statistics & EffectiveDatabase SearchingTompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences, VCULibraries
1. Understand the Issues when trying to Find Statistics onthe Web and in Databases2. Gain Some Tips on How to Find Statistics on the Web, aswell as in the literature databases3. Be aware of good sites for finding statistics and thenational, state and local levels4. Become reacquainted with searching with keyword andcontrolled vocabulary/subject headings.Goals and Objectives
Key Points to ConsiderWhen searching for statistics ask yourself:o Are statistics likely to be available on this topic?o Which organization(s) might collect relevant statistics?o Where might relevant statistics be published or mentioned?• websites, reports, yearbooks, bulletins, newspapers, magazines, journalso What keywords might be used to describe these statistics?• statistics on the heart can be listed under cardiovascular diseaseBe prepared for the possibility that:o Statistics may not exist for the level of detail or all thevariables wanted• State of Virginia but not Richmond, VAo The most recent statistics may be several years old• census datao Some statistics are not published/freely available
Many organizations and agencies include health statistics that theycollect or have access to Search the Internet for organizations using at least two searchengines [Google/Bing/Yahoo] Search for a known organization using quotes, as "American HeartAssociation" Consider searching by topic, remembering search results areusually ranked by popularity /are often not ranked by relevance. Use synonyms for statistics connected by OR in the search phrase(as...statistics OR rate OR incidence OR data) Use synonyms for the disease or condition in search phrases (aslung OR pulmonary, heart OR cardiac)When Searching the Webfor Statistics
• Find the CINAHL Heading That is Closestto the Topic You Are Searching For• Select one subheading that is related tostatistics (as epidemiology, trends)(Selecting two or more subheadings willgreatly limit the results)OR• Do a second search (using the SuggestSubject Terms option) with one or more ofthese CINAHL subject headings:Descriptive Statistics, Incidence, orData Analysis, StatisticalOR• Do a second search using one or more ofthese keywords: statistics, incidence, ordata• MeSH subheading : statistics andnumerical data can be searched separately as"statistics and numericaldata"[subheading]• MeSH subheading: epidemiology• MeSH heading: incidence• Potentially Useful Keywords:statistics, epidemiology, incidenceSearching the Literaturefor Statistics
Consider the following when evaluating theusefulness of found statistics or data• Who collected and published the statistics?• What are their credentials?• What data or statistics is being reported?• What populations are included?• Is the information current enough?(Often a time lag between data collection & data reporting because analysis takes time)• Why was the information collected?• Who are the intended users?• What it collected as part of the organizations mission? foradvocacy? for business purposes (as to sell a product?)• How were the statistics collected? Were any samplings orsurveys done scientifically?
• US Census Bureau: collects vital health and other statistics.• CDC National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) : principal UShealth statistics agency that compiles statistical information.• National Info. Center on Health Services Research & HealthCare Tech. (NICHSR)/ Data, Tools & Statistics: contains selectivelinks representing a sample of available information. Items are selected for theirquality, authority of authorship, uniqueness, and appropriateness• NIH Institutes and Offices : starting point for disease specific statisticalinformation.• FedStats: Makes statistics available from 100+ agencies/programs available.Resources for Statistics:National Resources
State Resources• Virginia Department of Health Division of Health Statistics Disease Statistics Data and Reports• Virginia Quick Facts: US Census Bureau• State and County QuickFacts: U.S. Census Bureau:access to facts about people, business, and geography.• State Health Facts: Kaiser Family Foundation• Americas Health Rankings: Annual assessment of thenation`s health on a state-by-state basis.• StateMaster: statistical database which allows you toresearch and compare a multitude of different data on USstates Partners in Information Access for the PublicHealth Workforce: includes links for individual statesstatisticsResources for Statistics:State, County, CityCity/Country Resources• Richmond City HealthDepartment• County Health Rankings :Program of the Robert WoodJohnson Foundation and theUniversity of WisconsinPopulation Health Institute
Infant Mortality StatisticsNational Sources:• CDC National Center for HealthStatistics (NCHS)• Fast Stats – Infant Health• CDC Wonder: Linked Birth / InfantDeath Records, 2007-2008 Request• Infant mortality by cause: US/State2000-2008 (Source: NVSS)State and Local Sources:• VDH: Division of Health Statistics• Richmond City HealthDepartment• State Health Facts• County Health Rankings
Keywords vs. SubjectHeadingsAdvantage DisadvantageControlledVocabulary(SubjectHeading)A list of subject terms may help you findan appropriate search term for yourtopic.It can provide you with suggested termsfor narrower, broader or suggestedtopics.Using appropriate subject headings for atopic, will retrieve all items in thedatabase indexed under the topic.Recently coined terms, including new topicsand jargon may not yet be included in thelist of subject terms.When a database does not provide a thesaurusor list of subject terms, the controlledvocabulary might not be obvious.KeywordWill retrieve items containing newterms, distinctive words, jargon.If you do not know the appropriatesubject heading, descriptor oridentifier for your topic, you canconduct a key word search first andlook at a relevant item for theappropriate subject term.You may retrieve items that are not relevant toyour topic (false hits).In order to retrieve more relevant items, youneed to use a variety of terms. For example,to retrieve items about movies, a keywordsearch must include terms like films, cinema,and motion pictures.Grouping:“using quotes”
Not Finding Enough?Ways to Expand Your ResultsFinding Too Many Articles?Ways to Focus Your Results(Ways to Get More Articles)Try To :• Explode Your Terms• Keyword Searching• Look At Related or CitingArticles(Ways to Get Fewer Articles)Try Using:• Major Concept/Subject• Subheadings• LimitsOther Things to Think About…..
Get in touch with Me…..Roy Brown, MLISEducation and Research LibrarianTompkins-McCaw Library, VCU Librariesrebrown2@vcu.edu / Ph. 804-828-1592IF YOU NEEDHELP……..