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Transform a clinical inquiry into a searchable question in PICO(T) format, so you can search the electronic databases more effectively and efficiently.

Transform a clinical inquiry into a searchable question in PICO(T) format, so you can search the electronic databases more effectively and efficiently.

Searching Databases (APA 7 format and at least 3-4 references)

When you decide to purchase a new car, you first decide what is important to you. If mileage and dependability are the important factors, you will search for data focused more on these factors and less on color options and sound systems.

The same holds true when searching for research evidence to guide your clinical inquiry and professional decisions. Developing a formula for an answerable, researchable question that addresses your need will make the search process much more effective. One such formula is the PICO(T) format.

In this Discussion, you will transform a clinical inquiry into a searchable question in PICO(T) format, so you can search the electronic databases more effectively and efficiently. You will share this PICO(T) question and examine strategies you might use to increase the rigor and effectiveness of a database search on your PICO(T) question.

To Prepare:

  • Review the Resources and identify a clinical issue of interest that can form the basis of a clinical inquiry.
  • Review the materials offering guidance on using databases, performing keyword searches, and developing PICO(T) questions provided in the Resources.
  • Based on the clinical issue of interest and using keywords related to the clinical issue of interest, search at least two different databases in the Walden Library to identify at least four relevant peer-reviewed articles related to your clinical issue of interest. You should not be using systematic reviews for this assignment, select original research articles.
  • Review the Resources for guidance and develop a PICO(T) question of interest to you for further study. It is suggested that an Intervention-type PICOT question be developed as these seem to work best for this course.
By Day 3 of Week 4

Post a brief description of your clinical issue of interest. This clinical issue will remain the same for the entire course and will be the basis for the development of your PICOT question. Then, post your PICO(T) question, the search terms used, and the names of at least two databases used for your PICO(T) question. Describe your search results in terms of the number of articles returned on original research and how this changed as you added search terms using your Boolean operators. Finally, explain strategies you might make to increase the rigor and effectiveness of a database search on your PICO(T) question. Be specific and provide examples.

By Day 6 of Week 4

Respond to at least two of your colleagues on two different days and provide further suggestions on how their database search might be improved.

Mike RE: Discussion – Week 4/Initial (at least 2-3 references and APA 7 format)

Given the diverse nature of the health care industry, the ubiquitous array of multi faceted axillary services, the sector we service the most sometimes becomes the focus of our interest given the opportunity and longevity in such an institution. For the purpose of this discussion post I will be posing a question on post operative pain management since this sector happens to be a critical pivotal point in patient recovery following either inpatient or outpatient surgical interventions. Using the PICOT question format; Does the management of pain using pharmacological and non pharmacological interventions on a post operative surgical adult patient improve pain control in four days post surgery? Following from the PICOT abbreviation, the P represents the population which refers to our surgical patients, I represents the intervention; pain management, C represents comparison; the comparison of pharmacological and alternate pain management strategies, O represents the outcome which is pain management while T speaks to our time frame for achieving this goal which is four days post surgery. According to Melnyk, (2018, p34) “the desire to gather the right information in the right way at the right time is not sufficient. Mastering practical, lifelong learning skills (e.g., asking focused questions, learning to systematically search) is required to negotiate the information rich environment that clinicians encounter.”

For the purpose of this post, the search engines I utilized were ProQuest and CINAHL Plus database. My key word search was pain management, which returned 20,494 results and 21,460 respectively. After the utilization of limiters for full text, peer review, date range of 2016 to 2020 the streamlined search result was 13,601 and 15,787 respectfully. The inclusion of Boolean search parameter for surgical patients further helped narrow down the search as follows; 3,070 and 5,179 respectfully, my inclusion of a final modifier for the most recent year of publication “2020” further help streamline my search results as follows ProQuest 232, while CINAHL Plus with full text returned 203 searches. “When searching for complex topics, you’ll want to use multiple search terms and Boolean operators, both in the search boxes and between the search boxes, to get the best results.” (Retrieved September 6th, 2019)

With the desire to increase the rigor and effectiveness on my data base search results, some of the strategies I will employ will be the refining of my search limiters which will help streamline my research to the most current year, using year of publication limiters, I will also include key words from my PICOT question like surgical, post surgical, pharmacological and or non pharmacological to help narrow in on the much desired research article that mirrors my PICOT question. “Keyword searching is the process of choosing search terms and entering them into the database search boxes to locate information on your topic.” (Retrieved September 19th, 2018)


Melnyk, B. M., & Fineout-Overholt, E. (2018). Evidence-based practice in nursing & healthcare: A guide to best practice (4th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer.

Walden University Library. (n.d.-c). Evidence-based practice research: CINAHL search help. Retrieved September 6, 2019, from

Walden University Library. (n.d.-g). Keyword searching: Finding articles on your topic: Introduction to keyword searching. Retrieved September 19, 2018, from 

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