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Nursing - Information Literacy

Locating Background Information

Background questions, ask about general knowledge about a disorder or topic. This search begins to locate general knowledge about a topic.

  • I need an overview of type 2 diabetes (a disease).
  • I need a summary of best strategies for...weight loss for obese adolescents
  • I need to review the history of health care reform in the U.S.
  • I need a definition of Type 2 diabetes
  • I need a summary of  best practices for postoperative care following total knee arthroplasty?

Background/overview information may be found in sources such as

  • books and e-books, evidence summaries, reference books, textbooks, chapters, appendices (available both in print and electronically)
  • drug directories, guides to diagnostic tests
  • overview articles (often tagged as "review articles" accessed via article databases; Limiting an article search to "review" articles is detailed in Module 2.2)
  • Expert opinions, pre-synthesized and pre-appraised guidelines, summaries.

Using a library catalog like KOHA can be a good starting point for locating books, reference books, and electronic reference tools.

When searching, take notice of the SUBJECT terms that are described in the results in the full library record.

Finding Background/Overview Information in E-Books and Point of Care Tools

Background information may also be located in electronic tools that aggregate texts, references, drug monographs, and more. Below are a few examples.  "Point of care" tools, syntheses and summaries are used by busy clinicians who need disease, drug, and best practice information in the clinical setting.