Using PubMed in Evidence-Based Practice

Scenario Practice


Read this scenario to complete the exercises:

You are an elementary school nurse. You’ve noticed an increase in unhealthy eating habits among the students in your school during your career.

You are interested in beginning a health promotion program in the school to encourage healthy eating.

Empty school cafeteria

(Image Source: iStock Photos, SolStock©)

Use PICO to identify key search terms

  1. Identify the PICO elements from this scenario.
Patient or problem:
As a school nurse, how would you describe your group of patients?
What main intervention are you considering?
What is the main alternative to compare with the intervention?
What can you hope to accomplish, measure, improve or affect?
  1. What is a clinical question for this scenario?  
  1. What is a simple PubMed search for your question?  

Perform a PubMed search and identify MeSH terms

Open a second browser Window to do this exercise using PubMed.

  1. Run the following search in PubMed: schools health promotion nutrition
  2. View the Search Details. What MeSH terms were included in your search?  

Filter PubMed search results

Return to your PubMed search results for: schools health promotion nutrition

Use the filters to limit the results to:

  1. Published in the last 5 years
  2. Ages 6-12 years

Use Clinical Queries search

Consider the additional information to the scenario:

Because of the perceived increase in unhealthy eating habits among students at your school, you are considering if there has been a rise in diabetes for students.

  1. Navigate to the Clinical Queries tool in PubMed.
  2. Use the Clinical Queries tool to find research on etiology for diabetes and diet in school age children.