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Nursing Experts: Translating the Evidence - Public Health Nursing

Guide to Evidence Based Practice and Knowledge Translation for Public Health Nursing.

The PICO Model

Defining a clinical question in terms of the specific patient problem aids the searcher in finding clinically relevant evidence in the literature.  The PICO Model is a format to help define your question.

P Patient, Population, or Problem How would I describe a group of patients similar to mine?
I Intervention, Prognostic Factor, or Exposure Which main intervention, prognostic factor, or exposure am I considering?
C Comparison or Intvervention (if appropriate) What is the main alternative to compare with the intervention?
O Outcome you would like to measure or achieve What can I hope to accomplish, measure, improve, or affect?

Online Resources to Explore:

The National Library of Medicine (NLM)

The National Library of Medicine provides not only PubMed and MedlinePlus, but several other useful resources.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The CDC is also a great source for statistics. For more information on this, see the Finding Statistics page.

The World Health Organization (WHO)

WHO is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system.

The Cochrane Collaboration

The Cochrane Collaboration

The Cochrane Collaboration is an international network known for providing the best possible evidence-based information.

The Joanna Briggs Institute

The Joanna Briggs Institute

The Joanna Briggs Institute is an international collaborative focused on evidence-based healthcare. EBP Resources contains manuals for evidence synthesis and evidence implementation, along with critical appraisal tools. Some content is available to all for free and some requires a subscription/membership.

Public Health Associations & Organizations

The following public health associations and organizations have a variety of resources available online. 

Evidence-Based Practice Websites

Resources for Practice Guidelines

Open Access Directories and Search Engines

Open access (OA) refers to freely available, digital, online information. Open access scholarly literature is free of charge and often carries less restrictive copyright and licensing barriers than traditionally published works, for both the users and the authors. The following links will allow you to search open access materials available from libraries, governmental resources, etc.

Finding Full-text Materials

Finding full-text articles to support practice can be challenging if you are an unaffiliated health professional. Here are a few suggestions on how to obtain full-text materials:

  1. Use free full-text filters in the databases. For example, PubMed has a free full-text filter to sort through materials that do not require a license or paying an access fee.
  2. Search your query in Google Scholar or Dimensions search engines. While not everything will be available, the citations may have a link to a pre-publication manuscript (a pre-print) available from an institutional repository.
  3. Search open access repositories or search engines. This guide page has several linked here.
  4. Request the article through your public library's interlibrary loan service. Contact your local library to see what may be possible for them to loan to you.

Public Health & Nursing Journals with Free Content