Using the PICO (Population, Intervention, Comparison, Outcome) method, formulate a research question that identifies what you will aim to know about the topic.
My question: For adults with chronic illnesses, is the Mediterranean diet a good approach to improving their health?
For your literature review, you will need to "describe your search process and criteria" including:
- which database(s) you used
- which keywords and controlled vocabulary you used
- How many articles did each database yield
- how did you narrow down and select your sources
Plan in advance where you will keep track of your search terms and your search strategies.
Feel free to use this Search Strategy Tracker template
You should make a COPY of the document and save it to your own Google Drive for editing.
Keyword searching is the most flexible type of online search - keyword searches usually look multiple places for your search terms, for example in the article title, the article abstract, and in subjects assigned to the articles.
A much more focused and specific kind of searching is called Subject searching. Most items in databases have a "Subject Heading" field that can be searched for specific terms. In the PubMed database, subject headings are called "MeSH Terms."
It's a good idea to try and determine what are the best Subject headings - or MeSH Terms - that describe your concept so you can use them in your searches.
These two videos show how to do this in the PubMed and CINAHL databases:
After formulating your research question, identify the main concepts in your question, then use those concepts to create search statements using words and phrases.
Use Boolean search operators to build effective and efficient search statements:
"public health" AND statistics AND privacy
"smoking cessation" AND (pregnancy OR pregnant)
("postoperative pain" OR post-surgical pain OR post-surgery pain) AND ("classical music" OR "instrumental music")
Watch this video which explains how to use the Boolean operators AND and OR: