Developing and Searching a Population Health

Report
Mercer University School of Medicine Libraries
DEVELOPING & SEARCHING A
POPULATION HEALTH QUESTION
FORMULATING A POPULATION HEALTH QUERY
Identify a health concern
 Example: you are working in the East Georgia
Healthcare Center in Swainsboro and notice
that a lot of your patients have diabetes.

WHAT CAUSES DISEASE?

Why are there so many people in Emanuel
County with diabetes?
WHAT CAUSES DISEASE?

How you conceptualize your topic affects how
you search for relevant information.
Consider the
interaction
and
interdependence
of various
factors
WHAT CAUSES DISEASE?
Think about the
wider context of your
topic.
 Do some preliminary
exploration.

PRELIMINARY EXPLORATION
What percentage of the United States
population is diagnosed with diabetes?
 You will need to look for statistics.

PRELIMINARY EXPLORATION

To find health statistics,
go to the libraries page at
http://med.mercer.edu/li
brary and choose Health
Statistics & Research
from the pulldown menu.

Click on CDC: Diseases
and Conditions
8.4% OF ADULTS IN THE U.S AND 10% IN
GEORGIA WERE DIAGNOSED WITH DIABETES IN
2009
PRELIMINARY EXPLORATION
What percentage of people in Emanuel County
have diabetes?
 http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/atlas/countydata
/atlas.html
 Centers for Disease Control & Prevention,
Diabetes Public Health Resources, Diabetes
Interactive Atlas, 2009 data

11.2% OF ADULTS IN EMANUEL COUNTY WERE
DIAGNOSED WITH DIABETES IN 2009
IS YOUR TOPIC RESEARCHABLE?
Why do more adults in Emanuel County have
diabetes than the national average?
 If your topic is too narrow, it may prove difficult
to find research
 If your topic is too broad, it may be impossible
to cope with the vast amount of literature on
an unfocused topic

FOCUS YOUR RESEARCH WITH A PICO
QUESTION.
What does PICO stand for?
P
 stands for Population or Patient
I
 stands for Intervention
C
 stands for Comparison
O
 stands for Outcome

FOCUS YOUR RESEARCH WITH A PICO
QUESTION.
What Population do you want to research?
 In this case, it is adults with diabetes.

FOCUS YOUR RESEARCH WITH A PICO
QUESTION.
What would be an Intervention?
 In this case, think about what might contribute
to diabetes.

FOCUS YOUR RESEARCH WITH A PICO
QUESTION.

Sometimes a Point-of-Care database with distilled
information will help you focus.

Go to the Dynamed
Database (found in
the pulldown menu
on the library page
http://med.mercer.
edu/library)
EXPLORE A CONCEPT
What percentage of adults in the United States
Smoke?
 http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/statesystem/Interacti
veReport/InteractiveReports.aspx
 Centers for Disease Control, Smoking and
Tobacco Use, Interactive Maps, 2010

19% OF ADULTS IN THE U.S & 17.6% IN
GEORGIA, 2010
EXPLORE A CONCEPT
What is the percentage of adults in Emanuel
County smoke?
 http://www.countyhealthrankings.org/app/#/g
eorgia/2013/measure/factors/9/map
 County Health Rankings and Roadmaps, 2013

PRELIMINARY EXPLORATION

To find health statistics,
go to the libraries page at
http://med.mercer.edu/li
brary and choose Health
Statistics & Research
from the pulldown menu.

Click on CDC: Diseases
and Conditions
23% OF ADULTS IN EMANUEL COUNTY SMOKE
FOCUS YOUR RESEARCH WITH A PICO
QUESTION.
What is your Intervention?
 In this case it would be smoking cessation
 Is there a comparison? You don’t have to have
one.
 What is the Outcome you want?
 In this case it would be improved health

FOCUS YOUR RESEARCH WITH A PICO
QUESTION.
Your PICO question would be
 In adults with Diabetes Mellitus, does smoking
cessation result in improved health?

SEARCHING THE LITERATURE
Go to the library webpage at
 http://med.mercer.edu/library and select
PubMed from the pulldown menu.

SEARCHING THE LITERATURE

You can type in keywords
SEARCHING THE LITERATURE

If you want to narrow results, select MESH Databases
SEARCHING THE LITERATURE

Type “Smoking Cessation”, select it, and add it to the search
builder
SEARCHING THE LITERATURE

Type “diabetes,” select Diabetes Mellitus, and add it to the
search builder
SEARCHING THE LITERATURE

Click Search PubMed
SEARCHING THE LITERATURE

View your results
SEARCHING THE LITERATURE

To narrow further,
you can can filter
your results
SEARCHING THE LITERATURE

In this case limited to Randomized Controlled Trials
SEARCHING THE LITERATURE

Click on the “Get It @ MUSM Medical Libraries” button to see if
the libraries have a subscription/access so that full text is free
to you.
SEARCHING THE LITERATURE



If we don’t have a
subscription, we can
order the article for you
from another library via
InterLibrary Loan.
Go to the libraries
webpage at
http://med.mercer.edu/
library and look for
InterLibrary Loan under
Services.
It might arrive the same
day, or it might take
several days, depending
on the library that owns
it.
SEARCHING THE LITERATURE
What do you do if you have too many results?
 Think about your PICO. Do you need to refine
and narrow your research?
 What if you have too few results?
 Think about your PICO. Do you need to refine
and broaden your research?

SEARCHING THE LITERATURE
If you are not getting many results, maybe you
need to look in another database.
 Try Google Scholar
 Go to the library webpage at
http://med.mercer.edu/library and select
Google Scholar from the pulldown menu.

SEARCHING THE LITERATURE

You can refine your results by using the Advanced Search
SEARCHING THE LITERATURE

You can look for all of the words, the exact phrase, a least one
of the words, without the words, anywhere in the article, in the
title of the article, by a specific author, or in a specific journal or
a specific date.
SEARCHING THE LITERATURE

You can sort by relevance or by date. Click on “Get it @ MUSM
Libraries” to see if the libraries have a subscription/access so
that full text is free to you.
EXAMPLE POPULATION HEALTH QUESTIONS






Does involving the male partners of pregnant teens increase the uptake of prenatal
care?
Does eliminating vending machines in middle schools result in decreased student
obesity in those schools?
In a workplace with a mostly sedentary environment, do workplace ergonomic
interventions result in increased workforce productivity?
In women with HIV, do peer-based interventions reduce health inequities?
In children and youth aged 5 to 17 years, what is the effect of regular and frequent
physical activity at school on measures of learning performance or absenteeism?
Are adults or children exposed to poor air quality at increased risk for impaired
cognitive performance?
FOR ASSISTANCE
Macon:
 [email protected]
 478.301.4056
 Savannah:
 [email protected]
 912.350.8345


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