Access to health research: Key concepts for searching evidence: an introduction for healthcare professionals

9 January, 2022

This article in English and Spanish may be useful:

CITACION: Medwave 2021;21(11):e002512 doi: 10.5867/medwave.2022.01.002512

Conceptos clave para la búsqueda de evidencia: una introducción para profesionales de la salud

Leonel Fabrizio Trivisonno, Camila Escobar Liquitay, Laura Vergara-Merino, Javier Pérez-Bracchiglione, Juan Víctor Ariel Franco


The currently abundant bibliography on healthcare can make the search process an exhausting and frustrating experience. For this reason, it is essential to learn the basic concepts of research question formulation, information sources, and search strategies to make this process more efficient and user-friendly. The search strategy is an iterative process that allows the incorporation of tools and terms in the strategy design to optimize evidence retrieval. Each strategy varies according to the questions, the language used, the source of information accessed, and the available tools. This article is part of a methodological series of narrative reviews on biostatistics and clinical epidemiology. This narrative review describes the essential elements for developing a literature search strategy and identifying the relevant evidence concerning a clinical question through familiar and accessible sources (such as Google and Google Scholar), as well as search interfaces and technical-scientific databases focused on biomedical knowledge (PubMed and The Cochrane Library).

Neil Pakenham-Walsh, HIFA Coordinator,