Evidence-Based Practice Toolkit for Nursing

Created by OHSU Clinical Inquiry Council

Do It Yourself Evidence Based Medicine Reviews

If no official EBM review has been done on your topic, these filters and hedges may be helpful in reducing the amount of literature you need to analyze.

PubMed Filters
From the PubMed homepage, linked above, click on "Clinical Queries" in the left frame. The objective of filtering is to reduce the retrieval of a search in PubMed to articles that report research conducted with specific methodologies.

Top Nursing Databases and Point-of-Care Tools

EBP Metasearch

Finding Guidelines

Evidence-based guidelines are the basis for evidence-based practice. Below are a few tips on how to find current guidelines:

  • ECRI Guidelines Trust ECRI Guidelines Trust® "is a publicly available web-based repository of objective, evidence-based clinical practice guideline content." Access is free, but it requires individual registration

  • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) guidelines - "The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's (AHRQ) mission is to produce evidence to make health care safer, higher quality, more accessible, equitable, and affordable, and to work within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and with other partners to make sure that the evidence is understood and used."
  • U.S. Preventive Task Force (USPSTF) recommendations - USPSTF "is an independent panel of experts in primary care and prevention that systematically reviews the evidence of effectiveness and develops recommendations for clinical preventive services."
  • Professional Organizations such as the American Heart Association, the National Cancer Institute, the American Psychiatric Association or the American Academy of Pediatrics may post relevant evidence based medicine reviews or practice guidelines based on EBP reviews on their Web sites.
  • ClinicalKey for Nursing contains full text guidelines published in Elsevier journals only.
  • To find guidelines in DynaMed and UpToDate, select a topic, then scroll down in the left column to Guidelines and Resources or Society Guidelines respectively.  
  • Find guidelines in Library databases such as PubMed and CINAHL:
    • In PubMed:
      • After conducting a topic search, use the Publication Type filters: Guideline, Practice Guideline, Consensus Development Conference, or Consensus Development Conference NIH
      • Or search for the topic and combine with a search for ("practice guideline"[Publication Type] OR "practice guidelines as topic"[MeSH] OR ("guideline"[Publication Type] OR "guidelines as topic"[MeSH]  OR ("consensus development conference"[Publication Type] OR "consensus development conferences as topic"[MeSH])
    • In CINAHL:
      • Search the topic and click on Edit to the right of the results in search history, then select Practice Guideline as a Publication Type.
      • Or combine your topic search with a search for the CINAHL heading - Practice Guidelines.

Citing guidelines:


Finding Systematic Reviews and Evidence Syntheses

Systematic reviews can be found by searching PubMed or CINAHL by using the following strategies:

  • In PubMed: 
    • After conducting search on a topic, select Additional Filters, show Article Type Meta-Analysis or Systematic Review, and click on both to narrow down your search.
    • Conduct the search on your topic, then another search using the following strategy:
      "systematic review"[Publication Type] OR "systematic reviews as topic"[MeSH Terms] OR "systematic review"[All Fields] OR "meta analysis"[Publication Type] OR "meta analysis as topic"[MeSH Terms] OR "meta analysis"[All Fields]
      and using AND to combine the two searches. 
  • In CINAHL:
    • Conduct the search on your topic, then another search using the following strategy:
      (MH "Meta Analysis") OR "meta analysis" OR (MH "Systematic Review") OR "systematic review" OR (MH "Cochrane Library")
      then combine the two searches using AND. 
    • Search for your topic, then click on Edit to the right of the search results in the Search History. Scroll to Publication Type and select Meta Analysis and Systematic Review. You can select both at the same time by holding down the Control key in Windows or the Command key on the Mac.
  • Systematic reviews can also be found by searching for topics directly in the Cochrane Library or in Joanna Briggs Institute journals


These tools will help you to interpret the clinical and statistical significance of data reported in clinical research.