Starting a Literature Search
- Identify your question -- know what you are looking for
- What is most important?
- What are your key concepts?
- Search the literature
- Search terms, not sentences
- Use Boolean operators to combine terms (AND, OR)
- Review results and refine as needed
Framing the research question with PICO
- P (population, problem, patient)
- I (intervention)
- C (comparison)
- O (outcome)
The PICO framework can help you identify your clinical question. In some circumstance you may only have a P, I, and O.
- Start by searching for the P (population, problem, patient) AND I (intervention)
- Browse the article abstracts for the O (outcome).
For more information on using PICO, see this guide about the Well-Built Clinical Question (PICO).
- Hints for successfully finding the literature
- Scholarly vs. popular journals/magazines
- PubMedSearches MEDLINE, which is the primary source of journal articles for the health sciences (fields of medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, public health, health care systems, and basic sciences). Coverage is from the 1940s to the present. View this tutorial to learn how to go from a general idea to a very precise set of results of journal articles and scholarly materials.
- ScopusSearch for information from scientific journals, books and conference proceedings. Covers the fields of science, technology, medicine, social sciences, and arts and humanities.
- SciFinder-nSciFinder-n is the updated version of SciFinder and is the best database for topics related to chemistry and adjacent fields. It includes journal articles, book chapters, dissertations, and patents. Find substance and reaction information as well as suppliers and chemical regulatory data.
- MICROMEDEXProvides access to drug information resources, including drug identification, packaging information, interaction and contraindication information, drug prices, international formulations, occupational safety sheets, safety in pregnancy, and more.
- DynaMedAn evidence-based clinical decision support tool. Contains over 3,000 topic summaries covering diseases, disorders, diagnostics, and drugs with extensive references to journals and practice guidelines
DynaMed includes an Oral Health Specifically that covers clinical topics such as Disorders of Teeth and Gingiva, Infections Affecting the Oral Cavity, Oral Manifestations of Systemic Disease, Malignancy, Other Conditions.
- MedlinePlusMedlinePlus is a consumer health database that has extensive information from the National Institutes of Health and other trusted sources on over hundreds of diseases and conditions. There are also lists of hospitals and physicians, a medical encyclopedia and dictionaries, health information in Spanish, extensive information on prescription and nonprescription drugs, health information from the media, and links to thousands of clinical trials.
Resources to Educate Your Patients from the National Dental Association (NDA)
The Dental Education Center, our latest collaboration, offers shareable materials that may help you better communicate with your patients about common dental issues. To utilize these informational pages, click on the corresponding tile below, then download/save the PDF to your computer. From there, open the PDF with the PDF viewer of your choice (i.e. Acrobat Reader) and you will be able to edit the contact fields and print the sheet out.
MouthHealthy (American Dental Association)
From the American Dental Association, MouthHealthy includes information for patients on dental health topics, nutrition, dental care concerns, and a list of ADA member dentists.
Culturally Appropriate Healthcare
Succinct tip sheets for clinicians. They are designed to increase awareness about concepts and preferences of patients from the diverse cultures
Find information about cultural beliefs, medical issues, and related topics pertinent to the health care of immigrants to the United States. Access relevant information through the Cultural Profiles, Clinical Topics, or multilingual Patient Education sections.