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Evidence-Based Mental Health: Yale Psychiatry Residency Program: Step 2: Acquire

Resources for the Evidence-Based Mental Health Curriculum Yale Psychiatry residency program

Searching for treatment questions in psychiatry: a tiered approach to searching

1. National Practice Guidelines (good for background, but can be out of date on new treatments)
2. Search for good quality systematic reviews or meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials
3. Search for a single randomized controlled trial
  • ‘Primary’ databases: Ovid (MEDLINE, Embase, APA PsycINFO) 
    • Note use article type filter "Randomized Control Trial"
4. Search for next level of evidence (cohort > case control > case series > case report)

Cochrane Controlled Trials Register (for ongoing trials)

‘Primary’ databases (PubMed/MEDLINE, Embase, PsycInfo)
 

Other Resources for Searching:
  • TRIP Database (Turning Research into Practice)  - convenient search of multiple 'tiers' of evidence
  • Web of Science or Scopus  - Wider coverage than MEDLINE and allows easier citation tracking

For more resources, please visit Support for Clinicians & YNHH resource guide 

A concept table organizes the terms you'll use in a literature search

Concept

A

B

C

Subject headings

SH1

SH2

SH3

SH4

SH5

Textwords

TW1

TW2*

TW3

TW4

TX5

TX6

 

Search Tips

  • Truncation - example: child* to get articles with child or children
  • Quotations to find phrases - example: “post traumatic stress disorder*”
  • Boolean operator OR - combine similar concepts and broaden the search - example: child* OR adolescent OR teen OR youth
  • Boolean operator AND - to combine concepts and narrow the search - example: child* AND "post traumatic stress disorder*"
  • Parentheses - groups search terms effectively - example(child* OR adolescent OR teen OR youth) AND (PTSD OR “post traumatic stress disorder*” OR “posttraumatic stress disorder*) AND (intervention* OR therapy OR therapies)
  • Spell out acronyms, use singular and plural forms of a word, use British spellings

Reference

Hatcher, Simon. Evidence-based mental health care / Simon Hatcher, Mark Oakley-Browne (2005) Online book (login required)
ISBN 0443073066 

  • Chapter 3 (p21-35) Searching the mental health literature
     

Acknowledgement

"Searching for treatment questions in psychiatry: a tiered approach to searching" created by Vinod Srihari. last updated February 25, 2021