This guide provides you with an introduction to the UNF Library's services; it also acts as a point of reference for: UNF Library's nursing databases, PICO(T), search strategies, the systematic review, suggested tools for evaluating the systematic review process, the Prisma Flow Diagram, and RefWorks.
Your Library Account: See a list of materials you have checked out, renew materials, view any fines you might owe, and more.
Off-Campus Remote Access: Access UNF Library online resources when you are not on campus. Click on My Accounts --> Select Remote Login --> Enter your N# and Password.
Borrowing Library Materials: Faculty, students and staff automatically have borrowing privileges. Show your Osprey1 Card to borrow materials from the UNF Library.
Interlibrary Loan: Can't find what you need at the UNF Library? Interlibrary loan (ILL) can obtain books and articles for you from other libraries.
Research Consultations: Need help? Book a research consultation for a one hour session. Librarians can meet with you in person at the library, via phone, or through a Blue Jeans video chat.
Formulating a PICOT question is the first step in the process of carrying out a focused literature review and analysis of evidence.
PICOT is an acronym for the elements of the clinical question: a way of asking a clinical question that will help guide the search for evidence.
Image Reused with permission of Hawaii Pacific University
P = Patient population of interest: Identify patients by age, gender, ethnicity, disease or health problem
I = Intervention of interest (can also be issue of interest that has no comparison): Which intervention is worthwhile to use in practice? Which issue is studied (e.g. a treatment, diagnostic test, prognostic factor)?
C = Comparison of interest (you do not always have a comparison): What is the usual standard of care or current intervention used now in practice?
O = Outcome: What results do you wish to achieve or observe as a result of an intervention (e.g. change in patient behavior, physical findings, patient perception)?
T = Time (you do not always have a time frame): What amount of time is needed for an intervention to achieve an outcome (e.g. the amount of time needed to change quality of life or patient behavior)?
Example of a PICO(T) Question
Watch: Finding the Evidence 2 Turning Search Terms into Search Strategies
Credit: Bodleian Libraries
University of Oxford
Search Strategy: A search strategy is an organized structure of key terms used to search a database. PICO(T) is part of your search strategy. The search strategy combines the key concepts of your search questions in order to retrieve accurate results. provides students with a thorough overview of the Search Strategy. This LibGuide includes Boolean worksheets.
Researchers use Boolean Logic to combine search terms.
Limiters: Use limiters to hone in on topics. Health/Nursing databases provide many limiters. CINAHL's limiters enables you to limit by peer-reviewed, geography, age, sex, human study, evidence based practice, etc.
The PICO(T) question is the catalyst to your research:
1. PICOT Question:
Population: Bariatric adolescents considering or undergoing gastric bypass surgery.
Intervention: The nurse’s role as a primary member of the multidisciplinary team regarding perioperative care of the bariatric adolescent patient.
Comparison: The nurse's role as a secondary member of the multidisciplinary team without any specialized training and is only involved in perioperative care of the bariatric adolescent patient.
Outcome: When the nurse is involved as one of the primary members in the multidisciplinary team approach, the bariatric adolescent patient has better continuity of care.
Time: perioperative including the 6 weeks post recovery.
PICOT Question: Does the bariatric adolescent patient undergoing gastric bypass have better continuity of care perioperatively and postoperatively when the nurse is a primary member of the multidisciplinary team versus when the nurse is a secondary member whose only role is in providing perioperative care and has no specialized training?
MeSH is the National Library of Medicine's controlled vocabulary thesaurus. It consists of sets of terms naming descriptors in a hierarchical structure that permits searching at various levels of specificity.
MeSH descriptors are arranged in both an alphabetic and a hierarchical structure. At the most general level of the hierarchical structure are very broad headings such as "Anatomy" or "Mental Disorders." More specific headings are found at more narrow levels of the thirteen-level hierarchy, such as "Ankle" and "Conduct Disorder." There are over 28,000 descriptors in MeSH with over 90,000 entry terms that assist in finding the most appropriate MeSH Heading, for example, "Vitamin C" is an entry term to "Ascorbic Acid." In addition to these headings, there are more than 240,000 Supplementary Concept Records (SCRs) within a separate file. Generally SCR records contain specific examples of chemicals, diseases, and drug protocols. They are updated more frequently than descriptors. Each SCR is assigned to a related descriptor via the Heading Map (HM) field. The HM is used to rapidly identify the most specific descriptor class and include it in the citation.
The CINAHL subject headings are based on the MeSH headings, with additional specific nursing and allied health headings added as appropriate. Each year, the headings are updated and revised relative to terminology needed in these fields. In addition, new terms from MeSH may be added as well.
Watch: Use MeSH to Build a Better PubMed Query
Credits: National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI)
Watch: How to Save and Print Searches in PubMed and Cinahl (Memorial University Library)
Your instructor will often request that you track your search terms. Many databases offer a "Search History" option. This brief tutorial will show you how to save and print your search history in PubMed and Cinahl.
Note: Additionally, you can save your searches within Cinahl and PubMed. In Cinahl, you have the option to create a My EBSCOhost folder; In PubMed you can save your searches within a NCBI account. Other nursing databases offer similar options.
Credits: Cornell & Brown Universities
Designed by Jessica Kaufman, Cochrane Consumers & Communication Review Group, Centre for Health Communication & Participation, La Trobe University, 2011.
Literature Reviews for Education and Nursing Graduate Students by Linda Frederiksen and Sue F. Phelps
Watch: Systematic Approaches to Searching the Health Science Literature
Credits: Yale University Medical Library
Credits: Cornell and Brown Universities
There are several tools that help organize the systematic review process. While many researchers use a spreadsheet to do this, others prefer a specialized instrument. Some require a paid subscription, others are free of charge. Each product has its own strengths, and as every research project is different, we do not recommend one over the other. All are web-based.
Covidence: "A web-based software platform that streamlines the production of systematic reviews, including Cochrane Reviews. Citation screening, Full text review, Risk of Bias assessment, Extraction of study characteristics and other study data, Export of data into RevMan. Nonprofit organization, open source software." (first SR free for 2 reviewers, then fee-based)
Rayyan- "Rayyan is a web application to help systematic review authors perform their job in a quick, easy and enjoyable fashion. Authors create systematic reviews, collaborate on them, maintain them over time and get suggestions for article inclusion." (free; new)
AMSTAR- AMSTAR is a tool to evaluate the quality of an existing systematic review. AMSTAR stands for A Measurement Tool to Assess Systematic Reviews. It is an excellent indication of how other researchers will evaluate your systematic review.
Brown School of Public Health provides a list of additional resources for systematic reviews and meta-analysis.
What is Prisma?
PRISMA is an evidence-based minimum set of items for reporting in systematic reviews and meta-analyses. PRISMA focuses on the reporting of reviews evaluating randomized trials, but can also be used as a basis for reporting systematic reviews of other types of research, particularly evaluations of interventions.
An Evidence-Based Approach to Scoping Reviews (Khalil et al., 2016)
Credits: UNC Health Library
RefWorks is a citation manager that can help you throughout the screening process. UNF students have access to this powerful tool.