NURS 6052 Searching Databases

NURS 6052 Searching Databases

Week 4 Discussion: Searching Databases

Clinical inquiry and research are critical components of evidence-based practice. Evidence-based practice (EBP) recommends healthcare providers like nurses to use the PICOT model or framework when searching for evidence to implement in their care settings based on a clinical issue of interest (Dagne et al., 2021). In this case, a clinical issue of interest is having high readmission rates among heart failure patients aged 65 years and above thirty days after their discharge (Rizzuto et al., 2022). As such, using this problem, the PICOT question will be:

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Among heart failure (HF) patients aged 65 years and above and discharged from hospital (P), does a multidisciplinary nurse-led education interventions and team (I) compared to normal care (C) reduce the readmission rates after 30 days of discharge by 50% (O) within six months (T)?

In searching for the articles about the clinical issue, I used a raft of strategies resulting into over 300 articles. The search terms included “heart failure among older patients,” “readmission rates,” “multidisciplinary nurse-led interventions,” and “readmission and nurse-focused inter-professional teams and collaboration.” The strategy also entailed focusing on peer-reviewed journals published within the last five years (Chien, 2019). The databases employed in this search included PubMed, CINAHL complete, Google Scholar, and Medline. In the first instance, 4000 studies showed up and I had to filter the search by using date of publication, having original articles that are not systematic reviews and meta-analyses (Melnyk et al., 2022).

The search also entailed using the Boolean operator alongside other filters to narrow the articles based on the subject matter. Through these, the study narrowed down to about twenty articles that were specific and dealing with different approaches to address the identified practice issue.


Researchers can use a host of strategies to enhance rigor, effectiveness and specificity of database searches through the use of PICOT approach. These include deploying in-built filters within the databases, and using similar words to carry out repeat of the search terms (Cleary‐Holdforth et al., 2021). Through this approach, one gets articles relevant to their clinical issue and help expound on the expected outcomes. One can also use more than one database to get more articles about the clinical issue of interest


Dagne, A. H., & Beshah, M. H. (2021). Implementation of evidence-based practice: the

experience of nurses and midwives. Plos one, 16(8), e0256600.

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0256600.

Chien, L. Y. (2019). Evidence-based practice and nursing research. The journal of nursing

            research, 27(4), e29. DOI: 10.1097/jnr.0000000000000346

Cleary‐Holdforth, J., O’Mathúna, D., & Fineout‐Overholt, E. (2021). Evidence‐based practice

beliefs, implementation, and organizational culture and readiness for EBP among nurses,

midwives, educators, and students in the Republic of Ireland. Worldviews on Evidence‐Based Nursing, 18(6), 379-388. DOI: 10.1111/wvn.12543.

Melnyk, B. M., & Fineout-Overholt, E. (2023). Evidence-based practice in nursing &

            healthcare: A guide to best practice (5th ed.). Wolters Kluwer.

Rizzuto, N., Charles, G., & Knobf, M. T. (2022). Decreasing 30-Day Readmission Rates in

Patients with Heart Failure. Critical care nurse, 42(4), 13-19.


Searching Databases

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.



Be sure to review the Learning Resources before completing this activity.
Click the weekly resources link to access the resources.


Learning Resources

Required Readings

  • Melnyk, B. M., & Fineout-Overholt, E. (2023). Evidence-based practice in nursing & healthcare: A guide to best practice (5th ed.). Wolters Kluwer.
    • Chapter 2, “Asking Compelling Clinical Questions” (pp. 37–60)
    • Chapter 3, “Finding Relevant Evidence to Answer Clinical Questions” (pp. 62–104)
  • Links to an external site. Retrieved January 22, 2020, from

Required Media

Walden University, LLC. (Producer). (2018). Searching the Evidence [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.


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.

*Library tip:

Walden Library recommends starting your search broadly with one concept or search word and adding more elements one at a time. Depending on your topic, the evidence will not necessarily address all the aspects of your PICO(T) question in one article. Select the most important concepts to search and find the best evidence available, even if that means assembling evidence from multiple articles.

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. 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.

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