ESNEFT Literature Searches

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Literature Searches

Both Colchester and Ipswich Libraries can undertake literature searches for you. Our librarians can search the healthcare databases to find you relevant, high quality information for patient care, complex conditions, audits and research projects. We find evidence-based information to support you. For further information on the literature search process click here.

Training is also available on a one-to-one basis or for small groups in literature searching skills.


Request a literature search from Colchester Healthcare Library

Requests for a literature search can be submitted via our online catalogue or by emailing the Library

Request a literature search from Ipswich Hospital Library

Requests for a literature search can be submitted by emailing the Library.

Using PICO to create answerable clinical questions
When asking clinical questions, a framework such as PICO can help form an answerable question and make searching for an answer easier.
PICO stands for:
Patient Problem, (or Population)
This would be the patient’s condition or disease, and could also include the population group (e.g. pregnant women, people over 75 years old)
Intervention (or exposure)
This could be the treatment, exposure or test that you want to find out about in relation to the clinical problem and could be an intervention such as a surgical procedure, drug treatment, or change in diet, or it could be an exposure to an environmental hazard, a physical feature (such as being overweight), or it could be a diagnostic test.
Comparison or Control
This might be an alternative or control strategy, exposure or test for comparison with the one you are interested in. A Comparison is not always present in a PICO framework.
This would be what you (or the patient) wants to happen (or stop happening)
‘In infants born prematurely, compared to those born at full term, what is the subsequent lifetime prevalence of sensory deafness?'
P  Population/patient =  infants
 I  Intervention/indicator =  premature
 C  Comparator/control =  full-term
 O  Outcome =  sensorial deafness