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Nurse Anesthesia

Information for students in the Nurse Anesthesia Program. Includes tutorials, eResouces, citation guides, and capstone research assistance

PICO Question & Search Strategy

Search Documentation

Create a table or spreadsheet to document your search for your Methods section. 

Name of person who conducted the search Database searched Date of search Search terms and database filters (if used) Total search results Articles retained for screening/further evaluation (Put PDFs in a shared Google Drive folder or citation manager, such as EndNote Online or Mendeley)

Below is an example of a search documentation table created in Google Docs. You may copy and paste onto a new Google Doc or download as a Word document or PDF.

Saving Searches

Most databases allow you to create a personal account, allowing you to save searches and set alerts.

Citation Management

  • You can use EndNote Online or another citation manager to store citations and PDFs. If you are working in a group, you can create shared folders and give all group members access.
  • There are two different versions: EndNote Online (free) and EndNote software ($105 with USC discount). Everyone in your group should use the same version. 
  • Other citation managers include RefWorks (free as a USC student), Mendeley (free) and Zotero (free).

For those of you doing a literature review as your main project:

Although you are not doing a systematic review, you can use Covidence, a systematic review management tool, to screen articles based on your inclusion and exclusion criteria. Covidence will automatically generate a PRISMA Flow Diagram.

PRISMA Flow Diagram

The PRISMA Flow Diagram is for systematic review reporting. It maps out the number of records identified, included and excluded. You are not doing a systematic review in this program, but this tool can be a helpful tool for documenting your reasons for including and excluding articles in your Capstone paper.

PRISMA 2020 flow diagram template for systematic reviews.

Flowchart from Page, McKenzie, J. E., Bossuyt, P. M., Boutron, I., Hoffmann, T. C., Mulrow, C. D., Shamseer, L., Tetzlaff, J. M., Akl, E. A., Brennan, S. E., Chou, R., Glanville, J., Grimshaw, J. M., Hróbjartsson, A., Lalu, M. M., Li, T., Loder, E. W., Mayo-Wilson, E., McDonald, S., … Moher, D. (2021). The PRISMA 2020 statement: an updated guideline for reporting systematic reviews. BMJ (Online), 372, n71–n71.

Databases to Search