MSI Information Literacy
Health Sciences: Searching 101
Foreground vs. Background Questions
In Evidence Based Practice, there are these two types of questions.
General questions that help you to build context and understanding. Answers are found in books and textbooks, clinical practice guidelines, and review articles.
What causes migraines? Search: cause and migraines
How is Type II Diabetes treated? Search: treatment and type 2 diabetes
What is the prognosis for stroke? Search: prognosis and stroke
Some common resources for finding answers to background questions include:
Specific questions intended for making clinical decisions. They are specific to a patient or particular population and they usually focus on comparisons: two drugs, two treatments, two diagnostic tests, etc.
Foreground questions may be further categorized into one of 4 major types: treatment/therapy, diagnosis, prognosis, or etiology/harm.
You would search journal article databases for insight to a foreground question.
A well known model for building a clinical foreground question is called PICO(T). It can be a very useful strategy for organizing and focusing your question.
P - Patient/Problem/ Population
I - Intervention
C - Comparison
O - Outcome
(T) - Time (when applicable)
Example question: Does hand washing (I), compared to not washing hands (C), among healthcare workers (P) reduce hospital acquired infections (O) over the course of a summer (T)?
Some common sources for finding answers to foreground questions include:
Printable resource lists
How to read scholarly journal articles
Open-Access Journal Resources
Evidence Based Medicine tutorials
- Last Updated: Sep 8, 2021 12:32 PM
- URL: https://guides.upstate.edu/infolit
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