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In-Depth Database Tutorial: PubMed

A detailed tutorial explaining how to search in PubMed according to EBM/EBP standards

Sample Search Step #1: Identifying Search Concepts Using PICO

Population - 56 year-old female with a history of Myocardial Infarction who is on Atorvastatin 80 mg daily

Intervention - Discontinue use of Atorvastatin

Comparison - Continue administering Atorvastatin

Outcome - Answer to her question: do statins cause memory loss, and should she discontinue usage?

Note that in this example it is not necessary to build search concepts for each individual PICO element. A more advisable approach is to consider the most important elements and whether or not multiple elements can be combined into a single concept. In this case, elements I and C can be combined because both concern Atorvastatin. Therefore, our three concepts are Atorvastatin, females/women, and memory loss. Note that I shortened O to "memory loss." This was done to convert it into a single concept; searching for "causes" can be vague, whereas "memory loss" is a medical condition.

This content was adapted from “HOW TO SEARCH IN BIOMEDICAL DATABASES” (created in 2021 at NEOMED Library) by Simon Robins, which is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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