By Day 3 of Week 4
Post a brief description of your clinical issue of interest. This clinical issue will remain the same for the entire course and will be the basis for the development of your PICOT question. Describe your search results in terms of the number of articles returned on original research and how this changed as you added search terms using your Boolean operators. Finally, explain strategies you might make to increase the rigor and effectiveness of a database search on your PICO(T) question. Be specific and provide examples.
Week 4 Discussion: Searching Databases
The clinical issue of interest is the non-pharmacological measures that can improve cognitive functioning mild-moderate Alzheimer’s disease (AD). AD is characterized by progressive deterioration of cognitive function resulting in cognitive deficits such as declined short-term memory, language dysfunction, poor judgment, impaired reasoning, difficulty managing complex tasks, and visuospatial dysfunction (Berg-Weger & Stewart, 2017). The cognitive function declines gradually. Huntley et al. (2017) assert that there is a need to identify ways to improve cognitive function in the early stages of the disease before symptoms worsen.
The databases used to search peer-reviewed articles related to the topic of improving cognitive function in AD include APA PsycInfo, BioMedCentral, PubMed, and CINAHL Plus (Walden University, 2021). I started by searching “improving cognitive functioning in Alzheimer’s disease.” The search brought 32 articles, most of which were unrelated to the specific interest issue. In the subsequent search, I used specific terms as per the PICOT question to enter the Boolean operator. The key search terms used to refine the search include ‘non-pharmacologic interventions,’ ‘improve cognitive function,’ and ‘Alzheimer’s disease.’ In addition, I limited the search to peer-reviewed articles published in English and from January 2021 to date to ensure accuracy. Using the key terms, refined the search and returned 9 articles relevant to the identified clinical issue.
Strategies that might improve the rigor and effectiveness of a database search on the PICOT question include brainstorming terms that authors might use to define the topic. One can use synonyms or similar words to combine in the Boolean operator OR (Ho et al., 2017). For instance, the authors could have used non-drug therapy or psychotherapeutic measures to define non-pharmacological interventions. Another strategy is to develop a list of terminologies and applicable terms to use in the search (Ho et al., 2017). The list of terminologies in my case includes: non-pharmacological interventions, improving cognitive function, increasing memory capacity, Alzheimer’s patients, and early-stage Alzheimer’s.
Berg-Weger, M., & Stewart, D. B. (2017). Non-Pharmacologic Interventions for Persons with Dementia. Missouri medicine, 114(2), 116–119.
Ho, G. J., Liew, S. M., Ng, C. J., Hisham Shunmugam, R., & Glasziou, P. (2017). Development of a search strategy for an evidence based retrieval service. PloS one, 11(12), e0167170.
Huntley, J. D., Hampshire, A., Bor, D., Owen, A., & Howard, R. J. (2017). Adaptive working memory strategy training in early Alzheimer’s disease: randomized controlled trial. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 210(1), 61-66. https://doi.org/10.1192/bjp.bp.116.182048
Walden University. (2021). Databases A-Z. Welcome – Walden University Departments & Centers – Academic Guides at Walden University. https://academicguides.waldenu.edu/az.php