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NUR 138: Nursing Concept III

Use this research guide to help you find evidenced based journal articles to support your class projects and discussion board topics.

Locating Journal Articles

Click the link below to begin the library research tutorial

Terminology when searching for a topic

Terminology or key terms to use when searching for evidence-based articles about any topic or subject.  

Example of reducing mental health stigma among college student using PICO

Patient / Population Intervention Comparison Outcome
college students mental health contact interventions of stigma 

compared with family impact

on accepting treatment, recommendations

Key term chart for searching for mental health stigma

Main topic   Main topic  Main topic Main Topic
mental health in patient  stigma treatment 
stress  college students stereotype OR stereotyping intervention 
well being  children attitude  therapy 
mental disorder elderly prejudice  rehabilitation
psychiatric illness mothers management

 Searching for stigma  should also retrieve words stigmatization or stigmatisation

What is Evidence Based Practice?

Evidence-based practice is a systematic approach to problem solving for health care providers, including RNs, characterized by the use of the best evidence currently available for clinical decision making, in order to provide the most consistent and best possible care to patients.

Source: Pravikoff, Diane, PhD, RN, Tanner, Annelle, EdD, RN, Pierce, Susan & EdD, RN. (2005). Readiness of U.S. Nurses for Evidence-Based Practice: Many don't understand or value research and have had little or no training to help them find evidence on which to base their practice. AJN, American Journal of Nursing, 105(9), 40-51.

Source: Pyramid by "HLWIKI Canada".

Types of Design Studies


A Meta-analysis takes a systematic review one step further by combining all the results using accepted statistical methodology.

Systematic Reviews usually focuses on a specific clinical question and conducts an extensive literature search to identify studies with sound methodology. The studies are reviewed, assessed, and the results summarized according to the predetermined criteria of the review question.

Randomized, controlled clinical trials. A prospective, analytical, experimental study using primary data generated in the clinical environment. Individuals similar at the beginning are randomly allocated to two or more groups (treatment and control) and the outcomes of the groups are compared after sufficient follow-up time.

A study that shows the efficacy of a diagnostic test is called a prospective, blind comparison to a gold standard study. This is a controlled trial that looks at patients with varying degrees of an illness and administers both diagnostic tests -- the test under investigation and the "gold standard" test -- to all of the patients in the study.

Cohort studies identify a large population who already has a specific exposure or treatment, follows them over time (prospective), and compares outcomes with another group that has not been affected by the exposure or treatment being studied. Cohort studies are observational and not as reliable as randomized controlled studies, since the two groups may differ in ways other than in the variable under study.

Case control studies are studies in which patients who already have a specific condition or outcome are compared with people who do not. Researchers look back in time (retrospective) to identify possible exposures. They often rely on medical records and patient recall for data collection. These types of studies are often less reliable than randomized controlled trials and cohort studies because showing a statistical relationship does not mean than one factor necessarily caused the other.

Case series and Case reports consist of collections of reports on the treatment of individual patients or a report on a single patient. Because they are reports of cases and use no control groups with which to compare outcomes, they have no statistical validity.

From Duke University Medical Center Library | December 2005

Identifying Evidence Based Practice Articles in CINAHL

Click image to view full CINAHL Advanced Search Limiters

CINAHL Special Interest select evidence based practice

CINAHL Advanced Search page

               CINAHL results evidence based

How to Read a Peer-Reviewed Article

Source: (2019). How I read a scholarly article. University of Illinois Undergraduate Library

How to Read a Scholarly (Peer-Reviewed) Article

1. Read the abstract

An abstract is a summary of the article, and will give you an idea of what the article is about and how it will be written. If there are lots of complicated subject-specific words in the abstract, the article will be just as hard to read.

2. Read the conclusion - Many articles do not include a section header for conclusion - Go to discussion 

This is where the author will repeat all of their ideas and their findings. Some authors even use this section to compare their study to others. By reading this, you will notice a few things you missed, and will get another overview of the content.

3. Read the first paragraph or the introduction

This is usually where the author will lay out their plan for the article and describe the steps they will take to talk about their topic. By reading this, you will know what parts of the article will be most relevant to your topic!

4. Read the first sentence of every paragraph

These are called topic sentences, and will usually introduce the idea for the paragraph that follows. By reading this, you can make sure that the paragraph has information relevant to your topic before you read the entire thing. 

5. The rest of the article

Now that you have gathered the idea of the article through the abstract, conclusion, introduction, and topic sentences, you can read the rest of the article!

To review: Abstract → Conclusion (and Discussion) → Introduction → Topic Sentences → Entire Article

Dissection of the article

Source: Dissecting of the article.

Note: The background dissection of the article is from New Literacies Alliance.

American Journal of Nursing

WCC Research Databases by Subject Video

Discipline Specific Databases for Nursing