Format

Send to

Choose Destination
J Med Libr Assoc. 2007 Apr;95(2):156-63.

Using the Turning Research Into Practice (TRIP) database: how do clinicians really search?

Author information

1
Department of Primary Health Care, Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, University of Oxford, Rosemary Rue Building, Headington, Oxford, United Kingdom. emma.meats@dphpc.ox.ac.uk

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Clinicians and patients are increasingly accessing information through Internet searches. This study aimed to examine clinicians' current search behavior when using the Turning Research Into Practice (TRIP) database to examine search engine use and the ways it might be improved.

METHODS:

A Web log analysis was undertaken of the TRIP database-a meta-search engine covering 150 health resources including MEDLINE, The Cochrane Library, and a variety of guidelines. The connectors for terms used in searches were studied, and observations were made of 9 users' search behavior when working with the TRIP database.

RESULTS:

Of 620,735 searches, most used a single term, and 12% (n = 75,947) used a Boolean operator: 11% (n = 69,006) used "AND" and 0.8% (n = 4,941) used "OR." Of the elements of a well-structured clinical question (population, intervention, comparator, and outcome), the population was most commonly used, while fewer searches included the intervention. Comparator and outcome were rarely used. Participants in the observational study were interested in learning how to formulate better searches.

CONCLUSIONS:

Web log analysis showed most searches used a single term and no Boolean operators. Observational study revealed users were interested in conducting efficient searches but did not always know how. Therefore, either better training or better search interfaces are required to assist users and enable more effective searching.

PMID:
17443248
PMCID:
PMC1852632
DOI:
10.3163/1536-5050.95.2.156
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center