Skip to Main Content

Search Strategy Description Samples: DNP Search Strategy Description Sample B

DNP Search Strategy Description Sample B

In the example below, notes follow some of the paragraphs. Highlighted sentences are for emphasis only (do not highlight sentences in your study).

From Section 3: Collection and Analysis of Evidence of a DNP Project Study (an Integrative Literature Review)

Sources of Evidence

The sources of evidence for this project were nine peer-reviewed journal articles obtained through Walden University Library databases. These databases included the CINAHL MEDLINE, ProQuest databases, along with the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. I specified inclusion criteria based on the availability of data contained within databases and as a means of reducing the number of articles to only those that included follow-up appointment scheduling data in patients with HF. A total of 4,813 articles were retrieved through the CINAHL, MEDLINE, ProQuest, and Cochrane databases, with nine articles meeting all inclusion criteria. The nine articles that met all inclusion criteria were conducted in the United States, available in full text in electronic format, written in the English language, and specific to heart failure readmissions. Articles also included the keywords heart failure, readmissions, follow-up appointments, and heart failure guidelines, and were published between January 1, 2007, and June 30, 2017. Duplicate articles were identified and excluded from the final review.

In the fourth and fifth sentences of the previous paragraph, the author provides a thorough overview of how he or she assessed articles for inclusion in the project study.
In the sixth sentence of the previous paragraph, the author provides search parameters.

The project used the 7 steps of evidence-based practice to establish and guide the direction of the project. The Melnyk Critical Appraisal Guide (Melnyk et al., 2010) was used as a framework to establish an integrative literature review that yields comprehensive data for review. Using the Melnyk Critical Appraisal Guide was the approach of choice due to the sequential nature of the guidelines and their applicability to this integrative literature review. Evidence obtained through the initial literature review was synthesized with the integrative literature review. The following keywords and word combinations were entered into the databases to retrieve articles for the integrative literature review: heart failure/AND readmissions, heart failure/AND follow-up appointments, heart failure/AND transitions of care, and heart failure guidelines.

The last sentence in the previous paragraph includes search words, which help readers as well as researchers studying the same topic.

Exclusion Criteria

I reviewed peer-reviewed research publications and article references for consideration. Exclusion criteria for reviewed articles included (a) articles published prior to January 1, 2007, and published after June 30, 2017; (b) articles containing only general information regarding hospital readmissions that were not specific to the HF population; (c) articles not written in English; (d) studies completed outside of the United States; and (e) articles that were not full-text and available online.

Inclusion Criteria

To meet the inclusion criteria, articles had to be (a) published between January 1, 2007, and June 30, 2017; (b) include the keywords of heart failure, readmissions, follow-up appointments, and heart failure guidelines; (c) contain information specific to HF readmissions and strategies specific to the HF population; (d) be available in full-text and in electronic format; (e) be studies conducted in the United States; and (f) be written in the English language. Randomized controlled trials, qualitative studies, and quantitative studies were included in the review (see Appendix A for a summary of articles included in the integrative review and Appendix B for a flow chart illustrating the literature review process).

In the first sentence of the previous paragraph, the author provides precise information about the exclusion and inclusion criteria for articles used in the study.
Note the last sentence of the previous paragraph. Sometimes, it can be helpful to include more detailed information about the search process in an appendix. Keep in mind, though, that some readers may not view this content even if referred to it.