Finding Evidence Part 4 Searching PubMed


Hi, I’m Hannah Norton, a reference and liaison
librarian at the University of Florida Health Science Center Libraries. This video is the last in a four part series
that addresses formulating a clinical question and developing tactics for an optimized literature
search. We’ve already talked about formulating a
PICO question, controlled vocabularies, and search strategies. This video covers how to put all that into
practice in PubMed. So, why would we want to use PubMed in the
first place? PubMed is the premier U.S. database of biomedical
and health-related literature, including over 26 million article abstracts on topics across
medicine, preclinical research, and the health professions. PubMed is freely available from the National
Library of Medicine, part of the National Institutes of Health, so it will be accessible
to you wherever you are in the future. While PubMed itself only includes the abstracts
of articles, it provides links to the full-text from a variety of different platforms. To access the full-text of articles in journals
that UF has subscribed to, follow the “Find it @ UF” links in PubMed. These will show up when you go to PubMed from
the Health Science Center Library’s Databases page. As you’ll recall, in our previous videos,
we identified the following search as relevant to our clinical scenario: “In pregnant breast
cancer patients does chemotherapy compare favorably to surgery with radiation therapy
in improving health outcomes for mother and baby?” Using our PICO model, we identified 5 parts
to that question: breast cancer AND pregnancy (which represent the patient or population),
chemotherapy (the intervention), surgery with radiation therapy (the comparison), and outcomes
for mother and baby. Let’s go into PubMed to see what we can
find on this topic. From the Health Science Center Library homepage,
follow the “Databases” Quick Link and choose PubMed from the list at the top
of our most frequently used databases. Let’s search each of our concepts separately in PubMed. First let’s search on the concept of breast
cancer, starting out with how to get to MeSH terms from within PubMed. You can get to the MeSH database using the the drop-down menu next to the
search box or from the “More Resources” section of the PubMed homepage. If we search for breast cancer, we find the MeSH term, “breast neoplasms”. Click on the term to find out more about it. Under the term there’s a scope note telling
us to use this term for tumors or cancer of the human breast – that helps us confirm
that this is the correct term to use. We could choose a subheading, such as therapy,
to combine with this term, or restrict it to a MeSH major topic, but this time we’ll
just use the basic MeSH term. We can add it to the PubMed search builder
using the button on the right. We can then add the other keywords and phrases
we brainstormed, connecting them with OR, and then send the search to PubMed. You can see under “Advanced Search” that
this search is now saved as part of our search history, and we’ll be able to combine it
in a minute with searches for our other concepts. Now we can do a search for each of the other
concepts in our question, using the keywords and MeSH terms we brainstormed in the previous video. First, pregnancy. Then, chemotherapy. Then, surgery with radiation therapy. And finally, our outcomes. If we go back into Advanced Search, we can combine each of our separate searches into one search by adding them to the search builder. This automatically adds them with AND. We get back 135 results. We may want to narrow these results down a little bit,
and we can use any of the filters on the lefthand side. There are also additional filters in PubMed that aren’t automatically shown. We could choose language, and then limit
to only English language articles, bringing down our results a little bit to get a more refined set of results. For additional help with PubMed, the PubMed Tutorial walks you through further details of building
your search, managing results, saving searches, and getting the articles. There are also a series of Quick Tours on
specific tasks, webcasts, videos, and handouts available from the National Library of Medicine
at the second link. As always, please feel free to contact the
library if you have any questions, either using our general contact information or by
getting in touch with your liaison librarian directly (listed by class on our liaisons
page). For more resources on evidence-based medicine
and more, see our guide “UF Information Resources for Medical Students.”

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