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Nursing Research NURS3749: 2: Search Statement

Creating a Search Statement

Next we will use the table you laid out in the previous step to build a search statement.

Search Statement - a combination of search terms and boolean operators that help the electronic database understand the kinds of articles you are looking for.

Boolean Operator - Words that the database will recognize as connecting terms, and not search terms.  These include the words AND, OR, and NOT. Watch a tutorial here to explain how boolean operators work.

Database - A collection of information (periodicals, academic articles, newspapers, reports, etc) often focused around one topic.  (We will use the nursing focused database CINAHL for this class)

 

  Patient Intervention Outcome
Term/Element    Surgical Patient    Hand washing  Infection Prevention
Synonyms

 Post-Operative

 Surgery

 Soap and Water

 Hand Disinfection

 Hand Hygiene

 Cross-Infection

 Surgical Wound Infections

 

First, list each of your PIO Terms and synonyms together and group them with parenthesis like so:

(Surgical Patient Post-Operative Surgery) (Hand washing soap water disinfection hygiene) (infection prevention cross-infection surgical wound)

Second, use the Boolean Operator "OR" between each synonym:

(Surgical Patient OR Post-Operative OR Surgery) (Hand washing OR soap water OR disinfection OR hygiene)  (infection prevention OR cross-infection OR surgical wound)

Finally, use the Boolean Operator "AND" between each parenthesis

(Surgical Patient OR Post-Operative OR Surgery) AND (Hand washing OR soap water OR disinfection OR hygiene)   AND (infection prevention OR cross-infection OR surgical wound)


A simple way to remember these steps is by looking at your chart. Anytime you are combining words in the SAME column, use OR.  Anytime you are combining words in DIFFERENT columns use AND

Screenshot of PICO graph

 

 

 

Assignment Benchmark

Write a Search Statement for your topic like the example below using the Boolean Operators AND and OR:

(Surgical Patient OR Post-Operative OR Surgery) AND (Hand washing OR soap water OR disinfection OR hygiene) AND (infection prevention OR cross-infection OR surgical wound)

HINT

HINT: Your search will be more effective if you do not duplicate words. 

Look at how I chose not to duplicate the word HAND in my Intervention element.

 

HINT: Check out the video below if you're still confused about Boolean Operators

Boolean Operator Video