An important step in the EBP process is reviewing the current body of literature to better
understand the subject or topic in which you are interested. By conducting a review of the
literature, you are building foundational knowledge about the topic; later, you can use this
background to build new insights. Developing a strong grasp of a topic can only be
garnered by taking the time to thoroughly search for relevant information and resources.
For this Discussion, you will practice searching the literature to find evidence on a specific
�Choose a simple search term(s) relating to a health topic of interest to you. Select a
different topic than the one addressed by your PICO question for your Course Project.
�Review the information on the evidence hierarchy discussed in Chapter 2 of the course
text,in the article, “Facilitating Access to Pre-Processed Research Evidence in Public
Health,” and in the multimedia presentation “Hierarchy of Evidence Pyramid,” found in
this week’s Learning Resources.
�Review the information on the website, “Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Resources.”
Take a few minutes to explore the different types of databases available for each level of
evidence and focus on the meaning of filtered and non-filtered resources.
�Conduct a literature search in the Walden Library on your selected topic using the
databases that you reviewed. Use at least one database for each of the three levels of
filtered information and at least one unfiltered database. Record the number of hits that
you find at each level of the hierarchy of evidence.
�Select one article from the results at each level of the hierarchy. Compare the articles
based on the quality and depth of information. What would be the value of each resource if
you were determining an evidence-based practice?
Post on or before Day 3 a summary of your search. Describe what topic you selected, the
search term(s) that you used, and the number of results found at each level of the
hierarchy. Compare the types of information found in the articles from different levels and
the value of the information from each level. Highlight a useful tip that you could share
with your colleagues about conducting an effective literature search.
I chose breast feeding which deals with the feeding of an infant with breast milk directly
from the human breasts of a female. Breast feeding is a very special act for it ensures a joyful
bonding between the mother and the baby and saves costs. Breastfeeding has got health benefits
on the mother and the infant. The search terms used to retrieve information on breast feeding are:
LITERATURE SEARCHES 2
breast feeding, infant nutrition and diabetes. These are the key words in the topic.
On the evidence hierarchy, the in vitro (test tube) research did not give me any satisfying
answer to my research question. The animal research too did not provide appropriate answer
while ideas, editorials and opinions provided at least some information but I was not contented
with the data. On the case reports I did find at least some relevant information but still the
content was not satisfying. The case reports were somehow effective and provided bit convincing
answers. I was however not contented with the data. The case control studies did not provide
good answers as expected (Jonas, 2001). However, it was a good but still not satisfying. Cohort
studies and randomized control studies were not providing good data as expected. The systematic
review and meta- analysis did provide the best available evidence on the topic of breast feeding.
This step by step guide kept supporting me all along as I carried out my research. The steps of
breast feeding, the importance to both the mother and the infant and the complications which
come along with breast feeding were also provided. The back ground to the methodologies was
provided. Questions on what is involved in the research questions, how to get started, keep going
and finally come to an end did not miss. Systematic reviews and Meta- analysis directs to the
useful resources which might be provided. The resources are up to date. The defined research
question is answered through summarizing all the collected empirical evidence (Jonas, 2001).
On evidence hierarchy discussed in Chapter 2 of the course text, in the article, “Facilitating
Access to Pre-Processed Research Evidence in Public Health”, it is important to start searching
from the highest level of the pyramid which is systems and continue working down ward until
the best evidence is obtained. However systems level of evidence is not currently available for
public health and therefor one starts with summaries. However this tool of research is bit
complicated. The last stage which is studies has some good resources to help in the research.
Summaries, synopses of syntheses, syntheses and synopses of single studies have limited
resources (Jonas, 2001). A well-structured literature research is very effective in locating the best
available evidence. A literature search should be well thought and organized. The research
question should be available and the key words to help in the research should also be available.
The scope should not be left out and one should be aware if the question is researchable. The
sources of information should be readily available since no data or information can be collected
without the source. I would advise a friend to use systematic review and meta-analysis in
research as the stage provides the best available evidence (Jonas, 2001). Effective literature
searching is a very sensitive stage while writing a literature review.
LITERATURE SEARCHES 3
Jonas, W. B. (2001). The evidence house: how to build an inclusive base for complementary
medicine. Western Journal of Medicine, 175(2), 79.