Literature Reviews For The Health Sciences March 2010
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Literature Reviews For The Health Sciences March 2010

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Graduate Student Workshop presented at the University of Western Ontario on March 11, 2010

Graduate Student Workshop presented at the University of Western Ontario on March 11, 2010

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Literature Reviews For The Health Sciences March 2010 Literature Reviews For The Health Sciences March 2010 Presentation Transcript

  • Literature Reviews for the Health Sciences Robin Featherstone Clinical Medicine Librarian [email_address]
  • What’s a Research Lit Review?
    • A research literature review is a systematic, explicit and reproducible method for identifying, evaluating, and synthesizing the existing body of completed and recorded work produced by researchers, scholars, and practitioners.*
    • * Fink, A. (2005). Conducting Research Literature Reviews . London: Sage.
  • Why would you have to conduct one?
    • For your thesis
    • For your work as a research assistant
    • For a funding proposal or grant application
    • For your academic work as a faculty member
    • For your work as a professional researcher
  • 7 tasks in the Research Lit Review
    • Selecting research questions
    • Selecting your sources
    • Choosing search terms
    • Running your search
    • Applying practical screening criteria
    • Applying methodological screening criteria
    • Synthesizing the results
  • Selecting research questions
  • Why do I need a research question?
    • To guide your review
    • To provide you with keywords for your search
    • To give your research precision
  • Scenario
    • You’re applying for a grant to support your research on hypertension in patients with diabetes mellitus.
    • Think of some specific questions related to this topic...
  • Questions
    • Broad:
    • What is the prevalence of hypertension in patients with diabetes mellitus?
    • Narrow:
    • Does ambulatory BP readings improve detection rates for hypertension in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus?
    • Very Narrow:
    • What are the attitudes of general practitioners in Southern Ontario to the use of ambulatory BP readings for patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus?
  • How questions influence search results Relevancy Retrieval (# of search results) Broad Questions Narrow Questions High = lots of articles Low = very few articles High = directly relevant articles Low = mostly irrelevant articles
  • Good Question for Literature Review
    • Narrow:
    • Does ambulatory BP readings improve detection rates for hypertension in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus?
  • Selecting your sources
  • Lit reviews depend on data from seven sources
    • Online public bibliographic databases (i.e., MEDLINE)
    • Private bibliographic databases (i.e., EMBASE)
    • Specialized bibliographic databases (i.e., Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews)
    • Manual or “hand searches” of references lists
    • “ Grey literature” - http://www.slideshare.net/giustinid/libr534-class-vi-ib2
    • Web reports
    • Experts
  • To find databases...
    • Try program pages from the library: www.lib.uwo.ca/programs/
    • Consult your librarian:
      • www.lib.uwo.ca/contact/instruction
  • Selecting sources
    • Where are we likely to find articles that answer the question:
    • Does ambulatory BP readings improve detection rates for hypertension in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus?
  • Some places to search
    • Bibliographic Databases
    • Medicine
      • PubMed (or Ovid MEDLINE), EMBASE, Cochrane Library
    • Multidisciplinary
      • Scopus
      • Web of Science
    • Nursing and Allied Health
      • CINAHL
    • Websites
    • Associations, Organizations & Government
      • WHO, American Diabetes Association, Canadian Diabetes Association, Health Canada, Public Health Agency Canada etc...
    • Other
    • “ Grey Literature”
      • ProQuest Dissertations & Theses, conference proceedings (i.e., AMA), etc...
  • Choosing search terms
  • Breaking down your question
    • Select your database
    • Break you question into concepts
    • Identify subject headings for each concept
    • Identify keywords for each concept
    • Tips:
      • Use a “target article” to help identify search terms
      • Use a concept map to keep track of your terms:
  • Why do I have to select a database first?
    • Your database will determine:
      • Your subject headings
      • Your operators (i.e., truncation symbols)
  • Different databases have different subject headings
    • Tips:
      • Complete a concept map for each database that you search
      • Select subject headings that are the closest match for your concept (remember: systematic, explicit and reproducible)
      • Pay attention to “explode” commands – some databases will search related headings by default, others will not
    Database Subject Headings Medline MeSH EMBASE EMTREE CINAHL CINAHL Headings Cochrane Library MeSH Web of Science N/A Scopus N/A
  • Identifying concepts
    • Which concepts are contained in the question: Does ambulatory BP readings improve detection rates for hypertension in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus?
    • Hypertension
    • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1
    • Ambulatory blood pressure readings
  • Ovid MEDLINE search terms Concept #1 Concept #2 Concept #3 Subject Headings Keywords AND AND OR Hypertension [MeSH]+ Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 [MeSH]+ Blood Pressure Monitoring, Ambulatory [MeSH] OR OR OR OR Hypertensi$.mp. (Diabetes mellitus adj5 (type 1 OR insulin?dependent OR juvenile?onset OR sudden?onset)).mp. ((blood pressure OR BP) adj2 (monitor$ OR test$) adj5 (home OR self OR ambulatory)).mp. OR ((high OR elevated) adj2 (blood pressure OR BP)).mp. Iddm.mp. OR OR
  • Some key operators in Ovid Note: These are recommended operators for research lit reviews. There are many, many more operators... Use Ovid‘s Help menu to locate them. Operator Command $ Truncation (finds alternate endings) ? Wildcard (finds alternate spellings) .mp. Mapping Alias (tells Ovid to search for your term in the Title, Abstract, Subject Headings, Table of Contents and Key Phrase Identifier fields) – useful for lit. reviews because it is broad () Parentheses control the order of search operations Adj Adjacency operator (can be followed by a number) tells Ovid terms must appear adjacent to one another AND all terms must appear in results OR any terms will appear in results
  • Running your search
  • Running your search(es)
    • Start with your first concept
      • Search for the subject headings first
      • Then search keywords
      • Combine these synonymous searches with OR using your search history
    • Repeat for your second, third, and subsequent concepts
    • Finally, combine large search results set with AND
  • Running your search(es) Search #2 = Search #3 = Search #4 = Search #5 = #1 OR #2 OR #3 OR #4 Search #1 = Concept 1 Search #6 = Search #7 = Search #8 = Search #9 = Concept 2 Search #10 = #6 OR #7 OR #8 OR #9 Search #11 = #5 AND #10 Results
  • Please complete the following search in Ovid Medline AND AND OR Hypertension [MeSH]+ Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 [MeSH]+ Blood Pressure Monitoring, Ambulatory [MeSH] OR OR Hypertensi$.mp. (Diabetes mellitus adj5 (type 1 OR insulin?dependent OR juvenile?onset OR sudden?onset)).mp. ((blood pressure OR BP) adj2 (monitor$ OR test$) adj5 (home OR self OR ambulatory)).mp. OR ((high OR elevated) adj2 (blood pressure OR BP)).mp. Iddm.mp.
  • Applying practical & methodological screening criteria
  • Screening
    • Two kinds: practical and methodological
    • Why?
      • Use practical screening to identify a broad range of potentially useful studies
      • Use methodological screening to identify the best available studies
  • Practical Screening Criteria – some examples
    • Date of publication
      • only studies conducted between 2005 and 2010
    • Participants of subjects
      • only children 6 to 12 years of age
    • Publication language
      • only materials written in English
    • Research design
      • only clinical trials
  • Methodological Screening Criteria - some questions to ask
    • Is the study’s research design internally & externally valid?
    • Are the data sources used in the study reliable & valid?
    • Are the analytic methods appropriate?
    • Are the results meaningful in practical & statistical terms?*
    • *Fink, A. (2005). Conducting Research Literature Reviews . London: Sage.
  • Applying Screens (or limits)
    • Apply practical screens by using “limits” (may also be called “search options”)
    • Apply methodological screens by reading through the articles
  • Apply Practical Screens
    • Add the following limits to your combined search result set:
      • English Language
      • Publication Year: 2005 - Current
  • Next steps
  • Moving to another source
    • Retain as much of your original strategy as possible
    • Recognize that subject headings will be different (or non-existent)
    • Keep track of your search terms using a new concept map
  • Hand searching and final steps
    • Locate the reference lists for selected articles*
    • Identify new articles that have cited your articles*
    • Identify key journals and “hand search” their issues
    • Test your search strategy by checking to see if a few “target articles” appear in the results
    • * Use Web of Science or Scopus
  • Working with your results
    • Export search results from each database or website into a citation manager (i.e., RefWorks)
    • Remove duplicates
    • Remove inappropriate studies by applying methodological screens
  • Synthesizing the results
  • Look for Patterns
    • What conclusions did these studies reach?
    • Which studies agreed/disagreed with the consensus?
    • Consider using a synthesis matrix:
    • www.ncsu.edu/tutorial_center/writespeak/download/Synthesis.pdf
  • Use your results to...
    • Describe current knowledge about your research topic
    • Support the need for and significance of new research
    • Explain research findings
    • Describe the quality of a body of research*
    • *Fink, A. (2005). Conducting Research Literature Reviews . London: Sage.
  • Recap
    • Remember... research lit review is: systematic, explicit and reproducible
    • Select appropriate research question
    • Identify appropriate databases
    • Break your question into concepts
    • Identify synonyms and subject headings for each concept
    • Combine synonym searches with OR
    • Combine concept searches with AND
    • Apply practical and methodological screens
    • Send search results to a citation manager
    • Remove duplicates
    • Use your lit review to summarize knowledge, assess research and support new research initiatives
  • Questions Robin Featherstone Clinical Medicine Librarian [email_address]