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Finding the Evidence


This module will help you develop the skills you need to search comprehensively and systematically for the best available evidence. By the end of this unit you will: 


  • Be able to identify and evaluate sources of evidence
  • Develop a search strategy from a clinical question
  • Use a range of search techniques to search some key databases
  • Filter your search results for quality
  • Save and store your results 


Before searching for evidence, you need to be clear what sort of evidence you are looking for. To do this you need to have a clearly formulated question. Recognising the type of question you have, and the best study design to answer the question, will help to determine where, and how, to search for evidence. 


It would be helpful if you had already completed the introductory module, in particular the unit on formulating a clinical question. 


In this module you will find:  


  1. An introduction to finding the evidence.
  2. A unit on identifying and evaluating sources of evidence, which includes a powerpoint presentation and an activity.
  3. A unit on developing a search strategy using a range of search techniques, including how to filter your results for quality.
  4. A unit which contains three sample searches, conducted in PubMed, PubMed Clinical Queries, and the Cochrane Library.
  5. A unit on how to save and store your results.
  6. A list of resources you may wish to use to enhance your knowledge and understanding.


The components of this unit follow a logical sequence and you should work through them in the order they appear. You can, however, test yourself with the quiz section before or afterwards depending on whether you want to check you baseline understanding beforehand, or your understanding after you have completed the module.