Response to PICO(T) Question


Respond to your colleague providing further suggestions on how their database search might be improved.

At least 2 references in each peer responses! 

PICO(T) Question

Considering the overwhelming amount of research sources now available via the internet, clinicians must utilize a systematic approach while participating in evidence-based practice (EBP) inquiries. The PICO(T) question format is one such method clinicians use to ask a question about a clinical issue one seeks to gather EBP research (Stillwell, Fineout-Overholt, Melnyk, & Williamson, 2010).                                                                                                                   

    The clinical issue I chose to address for this assignment is anxiety in school-age children. As a school nurse, many of the visits to my health room are related to somatic symptoms from anxiety triggers. Anxiety disorders affect 7.1% of children ages 3-17 years old, and sadly only 59% of children age 3-17 years old will receive a formal mental health treatment (CDC, n.d.). The PICO(T) question I chose is: In school-age children with anxiety (P), how does a school-based mental health intervention (I) compared with no intervention (C) affect anxiety symptoms and overall global functioning (O)?

Search Terms and Databases Used for Research

    Based on my PICO(T) question, the terms I initially searched were “anxiety in children” and “school-based mental health”. I later narrowed down these terms further as outlined below to elicit more specific search results. The two databases I utilized for my research were CINAHL with Full-Text and PsycINFO.

Search Results, Articles Returned, and Changes from use of  Boolean Operators

Using CINAHL with Full Text, I searched the term “anxiety in children”, which returned approximately 4,000 results. Then I searched the term “school-based mental health”, which yielded 239 results. After completing the same search using the PsycINFO database, I yielded 10,798 and 571 results, respectively. I then applied the Boolean connector “AND” combining both of the search terms. The search results dramatically decreased the number of articles for each of the databases to generate less than ten results.

Database Strategies to Increase Rigor and Effectiveness

Strategies I implemented to increase the rigorousness and effectiveness of my search were searching synonyms of my keywords. According to Melnyk and Fineout-Overholt (2018), different databases will yield different results depending on the keyword used. Because of this, it is a good idea to utilize single word synonyms related to your original keywords and connect them with the Boolean operator “OR” when searching. For example, for the keyword “children”, I took advantage of the automatic word matching suggestions. I searched the keywords “child OR adolescents OR youth OR teenager”, broadening my search results just “children” since my particular clinical issue related to all school-age children. Databases are programmed to search for exact words. Therefore if you limit your keywords, you may risk potentially restrict your search results too drastically (Walden University Library, n.d.).

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