Critical Appraisal Skills Programme

Finding & Searching for Evidence

Have you been advised to ‘search for evidence’ and are not sure where to start? With the number of research articles out there growing by the day, we need to plan for how to search for information. We need to think carefully about what information we need before assessing the quality of what we find. This is what we call the start of evidence-based practice (EBP).

It's important that individuals and organisations develop skills in effective literature searching and evaluation, to help them identify the right evidence, at the right time. This course can guide you through the process for finding relevant research evidence, formulating answerable clinical questions, developing effective search strategies and running your own searches efficiently and effectively to answer your own clinical questions.

Course details at a glance

  • Training method: Online training. Learners can progress at their own pace.
  • Duration: This course is approximately 2 hours. This includes time to create your own PICO question and to run an online search.
  • Access to module: Access is 12 months from the date of purchase, and you can revisit the content at any time within this.
  • Certification: On completion of the course, you will automatically receive a certificate of completion which you can keep in your CPD record.
  • Cost: £45 (inc. VAT)

Training Course Syllabus

The “Finding and searching for evidence” course covers:

Part 1 - Formulating a Clinical Question

We’ll look at the main types of clinical questions, how they are different from each other and what types of evidence they will illicit from our enquiries.​ We will formulate an answerable clinical question, which can be used to inform a research project, or guide us to find useful evidence that can be used to inform patient care decision making.

  • Where do clinical questions and searching fit into the Evidence-based Medicine/Practice?
  • The EBM process.
  • Why is the question important?
  • Clinical questions.

Part 2 - Searching Databases

  • Using a question to search
  • Using the question to identify keywords for inclusion in a systematic search strategy.
  • What are the sources of primary and secondary evidence​.
  • Subject and free text (keyword) searches, and how they differ.
  • How to use Boolean operators to combine search terms and sets together.

Part 3 - Demonstration of a search

  • A demonstration of a search using PubMed.gov using a clinical query.
  • Guide through the literature Search using a PICO worksheet.

Who should attend this training course?

Health professions who use research evidence in their professional practice, in professional and personal decision making, or policy & guidelines development.

  • Anyone who must make decisions about someone’s care in their job or personal life.
  • Health & Healthcare workers
  • Dentists
  • Allied Care Professionals
  • Students
  • Veterinary
  • Policy makers
  • Journalists
  • Third sector workers
  • Researchers

About your trainer

  • Derick Yates is a highly experienced Evidence-Based Practice Tutor, working at Birmingham Women's Hospital Library & Knowledge Service for over 18 years.
  • Derick trains staff and colleagues in database searching skills using the principles of evidence-based practice (in medicine) & identifying good quality research articles to inform practice and research. He both designs and delivers training and provides support to clinical, nursing and midwifery staff and students to complete their studies at every level, He focusses a lot of his teaching on the first two steps of evidence-based practice i.e., writing clinical questions and searching for information.
  • Derick writes publications, particularly systematic reviews, and has changed practice based on current best evidence.

Why learn with CASP?

  • CASP training, workshops and resources help participants put knowledge into practice by learning how to systematically formulate questions, find research evidence, appraise research evidence and act on what they find.
  • The philosophy of CASP has always been about sharing knowledge and understanding, working in ways that are non-hierarchical, multidisciplinary and using problem-based approaches. This ensures that it is accessible and has practical day-to-day application.
  • The CASP programme has been running since 1993 and has 30 years of significant and unrivalled expertise in the delivery of training to healthcare professionals, from a wide variety of professions and disciplines. We are continuing to evolve into new ways of making our workshops accessible to those across the world, including transferring our workshop content to online learning so that participants can pace their study at their own time, having access from wherever they are.
  • CASP has 8 critical appraisal tools, designed to be used when reading research. These include tools for systematic reviews, randomised controlled trials, cohort studies, case control studies, economic evaluations, diagnostic studies, qualitative studies and clinical prediction Rule.
  • Our checklists are free to download from the CASP website, can be used by anyone under the Creative Commons License, and are used by healthcare organisations and universities world-wide, with over 400,000 downloads per year.

Ready to get started?

Gaining access to the “Finding and Searching for Evidence” training course is quick and easy. Simply choose one of the options below:

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Need more information about our training courses?

If you have a general query about the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme, or would like to book on to a training course or workshop please get in touch.
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