Skip to main content

Meta-Search Tools

Meta-Search tools search across all levels of the 6S Pyramid at the same time. Results are divided according to the level of the pyramid from which they come. There are advantages and disadvantages to these tools - their convenience makes them very appealing, but there are also some limitations: every database is set up slightly differently and uses different subject language, so a single search may miss a lot of content. Also, the Meta-Search tools don't search all of the 6S Pyramid resources available, so content may be missed. Experiment with them and see what you think...

Purpose of this Guide

Use this guide to find resources to support the Evidence-Informed Decision Making (EIDM) process. Databases are listed below according to the level of the 6S Pyramid that they represent.

When you are searching for resources to answer a quantitative question, begin at the Summaries level of the pyramid and work your way down. Once you find an answer to your question, you don't typically need to continue to search lower levels of the pyramid.

When you are searching for resources to answer a qualitative question, begin at the Synopses of Single Studies level of the pyramid.

EIDM Resources Available from the Conestoga Library

This image of the 6S Pyramid demonstrates the relationship of the resources in the hierarchy of pre-processed evidence.

Systems

Systems integrate information from the lower levels of the pyramid with individual patient records, producing a tailored recommendation for clinical decision-making. e.g. Computerized decision support systems (CDSSs)

Summaries

Summaries look at all of the evidence from the lower levels of the pyramid and make recommendations based on the evidence that can be implemented in nursing practice.

Synopses of Syntheses

A synopsis of synthesis provides a summary of an individual systematic review. It must be a high quality review to meet all of the criteria to be selected for summary.

Syntheses (Systematic Reviews)

Syntheses (Systematic Reviews)  involve a systematic approach in which extensive searches are conducted to locate every research study that would answer a particular question, and then specific criteria are applied to select only the best articles that demonstrate sound methodology, validity, etc.

Based on this smaller set of high quality results, the review will be written summarizing the information/evidence found, and drawing some conclusions that can be applied in clinical practice.

Synopses of Single Studies / Evidence-Based Abstract Journals

A synopsis of a single study provides a summary of an individual primary research study. The research study must be of high quality and meet the necessary criteria to be selected for summary.

Single Studies

Single studies refer to primary or unique research studies conducted to answer specific clinical questions.

CINAHL, Medline & PubMed all feature a filter for Clinical Queries which will limit your search results to clinically relevant and scientifically sound studies of the following types: Therapy, Prognosis, Review, Qualitative, and Causation (Etiology).

Databases for Single Studies