ePubs ahead of print; pubmed central author manuscripts, non-topical from e.g. science or nature
Must have search word in title (metrics)
Searching for evidence
Search tips for those with a
healthy appetite for knowledge.
Searching – the basics
• Browsing/surfing – serendipity
• Searching – plan ahead
– Use PICO (Population or Patient; Intervention;
Comparative intervention; Outcome)
– Identify key concepts
PICO Clinical Question Search Strategy in CINAHL
Patient/Problem Mechanically ventilated
(MM "Ventilator Patients") OR
(MM "Ventilation, Mechanical,
Differentiated") OR (MM
"Ventilators, Mechanical") OR
(MM "Respiration, Artificial+")
OR “mechanically ventilated”
Intervention Mouthwash (MM "Mouthwashes+") OR
Comparison (if relevant) Toothbrushing (MM "Toothbrushing") OR
(MM "Toothbrushes") OR
Outcome Avoidance/reduction of
(MM "Pneumonia, Ventilator-
Type of Question Scoping question for
possible change of
Related articles; referenced
articles; forward citation
Type of Study Practice Guideline,
What type of information?
• Guidelines: use NICE, SIGN, TRIP,
National Clearinghouse, G.I.N., Associations/
• Diagnosis: point-of-care tool e.g. UpToDate; OvidMD
• Evidence-based research: Cochrane Library,
PubMed/Medline, CINAHL, PeDRO, Embase,
PsycINFO, TRIP, Scopus etc
• Management/Governance: Emerald Management Plus
• List of sources: http://
Find Clinical Trials/SR Protocols
• Current Controlled Trials (International,
ongoing trials): http://www.controlled-trials.com
• CenterWatch (industry-sponsored trials):
• ClinicalTrials.gov (Compiled by US NIH):
• EU Clinical Trials Register (EU/EEA trials):
• IFPMA Clinical Trials Portal (ongoing and completed
trials compilation): http://clinicaltrials.ifpma.org/html
• NCIC Clinical Trials Group:
• Prospero (International database of prospectively
registered SRs managed by CRD):
• WHO Trials Registry Platform portal (also provides
links if available to the full original records):
Get the most from databases
• Controlled language: MeSH (PubMed),
CINAHL Subject Heading, Emtree (Embase).
– know any limitations
• “pearl gathering”, “snowballing” & “forward
• Customisation and personalisation features
– Save searches/create alerts, collections, filters etc
You never get access
to the full extent of
the web, e.g.
e.g. Patient records
Searching the Deep Web
•http://directsearch.net/ (Yahoo style directory)
•http://www.lenus.ie (Irish healthcare now part of RIAN Open
Access Irish research: http://rian.ie)
•The Health Well: http://
•http://www.opendoar.org/ (directory of open access
• http://www.cdc.gov/datastatistics/ (tracking
Also try Orphanet (http://www.orpha.net/consor/cgi-bin/index.php)
OR RareBestPractices (http://www.rarebestpractices.eu/)
Patient Information Sources
Keeping the patient informed: now a legal
requirement in France.
Google search: narrowing results
Try “advanced search” and/or use these boolean
is the default when using several keywords and is not
preceding a keyword means it must be included in
preceding a keyword means it must not be included in
| between words means OR
preceding a keyword means search that keyword and
filetype:pdf hospital returns PDF files with “hospital” in the text
filetype:doc health returns Microsoft Word files with “health” in the text
returns Microsoft PowerPoint files with “guidelines” in
filetype:jpg clinical returns jpg files with “clinical” in the filename
Google custom search: http://www.google.com/cse/
: Search Irish healthcare websites.
This icon appears after you
have completed a search
: Altmetrics Explorer tool.
• Install the altmetrics bookmarklet (Firefox/Chrome)
• Google Scholar citations (
http://scholar.google.com/citations) and “publish or
perish” from http://www.harzing.com/pop.htm
• Author unique ID: http://orcid.org/
(Explorer tool: c. €6000 per institution; “publish or
perish” and ORCID is free)
•Select your best 50 to follow on Twitter
•Apps: e.g. Browzine, Docphin, READ (http://
•Bookmarking & Tagging e.g. Diigo, CiteULike
•SVHG Library Twitter (@svhglibrary) and
•Use of sentiment analysis for capturing patient experience from free-text comments posted online.
Greaves F, Ramirez-Cano D, Millett C, Darzi A, Donaldson L.
J Med Internet Res. 2013 Nov 1;15(11):e239. doi: 10.2196/jmir.2721.
PubMed [citation] PMID: 24184993 PMCID: PMC3841376
Identifying barriers to patient acceptance of active surveillance: content analysis of online patient
Mishra MV, Bennett M, Vincent A, Lee OT, Lallas CD, Trabulsi EJ, Gomella LG, Dicker AP, Showalter TN.
PLoS One. 2013;8(9):e68563. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0068563.
PubMed [citation] PMID: 24039699 PMCID: PMC3770634
Sociotechnical challenges and progress in using social media for health.
Munson SA, Cavusoglu H, Frisch L, Fels S.
J Med Internet Res. 2013 Oct 22;15(10):e226. doi: 10.2196/jmir.2792.
PubMed [citation] PMID: 24148206 PMCID: PMC3806390
Social media and rating sites as tools to understanding quality of care: a scoping review.
Verhoef LM, Van de Belt TH, Engelen LJ, Schoonhoven L, Kool RB.
J Med Internet Res. 2014 Feb 20;16(2):e56. doi: 10.2196/jmir.3024. Review.
PubMed [citation] PMID: 24566844 PMCID: PMC3961699
Internet use frequency and patient-centered care: measuring patient preferences for participation using the
health information wants questionnaire.
Xie B, Wang M, Feldman R, Zhou L.
J Med Internet Res. 2013 Jul 1;15(7):e132. doi: 10.2196/jmir.2615.
PubMed [citation] PMID: 23816979 PMCID: PMC3714005
Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks.
Kramer AD, Guillory JE, Hancock JT.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Jun 17;111(24):8788-90. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1320040111. Epub
2014 Jun 2. PMID: 2488960
Emotional states can be transferred to others via emotional contagion, leading people to experience
the same emotions without their awareness. Emotional contagion is well established in laboratory
experiments, with people transferring positive and negative emotions to others. Data from a large
real-world social network, collected over a 20-y period suggests that longer-lasting moods (e.g.,
depression, happiness) can be transferred through networks [Fowler JH, Christakis NA (2008)
BMJ 337:a2338], although the results are controversial. In an experiment with people who use
Facebook, we test whether emotional contagion occurs outside of in-person interaction
between individuals by reducing the amount of emotional content in the News Feed. When
positive expressions were reduced, people produced fewer positive posts and more negative
posts; when negative expressions were reduced, the opposite pattern occurred. These results
indicate that emotions expressed by others on Facebook influence our own emotions, constituting
experimental evidence for massive-scale contagion via social networks. This work also suggests
that, in contrast to prevailing assumptions, in-person interaction and nonverbal cues are not strictly
necessary for emotional contagion, and that the observation of others' positive experiences
constitutes a positive experience for people.
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