ProQuest Education

As I stated on a previous page, I decided to focus my search on my first research question: “Does an inquiry learning approach lead to improvements in student clinical reasoning skills?”

 

Like A+ Education, ProQuest has the advantage of allowing the searcher to specify which database they would like to search in, which is really useful in helping to focus the search from the very beginning.  I decide to start my search in the ‘Family Health’ Database, because it specifies that Dentistry is one of the areas that it specialises in.  During my search, I also explored the ‘Health and Medical Collection’ as well as ‘Education’ databases.

 

Below are some examples of my most successful complex search strings using ProQuest Education:

 

Search String Results in ProQuest Comments
(“inquiry learning” OR “inquiry based learning” OR “problem based learning” OR “case based learning” OR “guided inquiry”) AND (“improve” OR “promote” OR “develop”) AND (“clinical reasoning” OR “clinical judgement” OR “clinical problem solving” OR “critical thinking”) 155 I’ve specified that I’d like to search for full text, peer reviewed articles in the Family Health Database. I’m very happy with the results as there are a lot of relevant articles.  I notice however, that there are also several articles that don’t relate to health professional education.
(“inquiry learning” OR “inquiry based learning” OR “problem based learning” OR “case based learning” OR “guided inquiry”) AND (“improve” OR “promote” OR “develop”) AND (“clinical reasoning” OR “clinical judgement” OR “clinical problem solving”) 48 Using the “narrow results” function, I search under the subject of “learning” and I also remove the term “critical thinking” because I have noticed that it has helped to focus my previous searches to find specific clinical reasoning results.
(“inquiry learning” OR “inquiry based learning” OR “guided inquiry”) AND (“improve” OR “promote” OR “develop”) AND (“clinical reasoning” OR “clinical judgement” OR “clinical problem solving”) NOT (“problem based learning OR case based learning”) 2 Again I have noticed that almost all of the relevant results relate to either problem based learning or case based learning.  So I have removed them from my search string and have also excluded them by using the ‘NOT’ Boolean operator in order to explore whether other types of inquiry learning have been found to improve clinical reasoning skills.  Although there are only two search results, one of them turns out to be excellent.
(“inquiry learning” OR “inquiry based learning” OR “problem based learning” OR “case based learning” OR “guided inquiry”) AND (“improve” OR “promote” OR “develop”) AND (“clinical reasoning” OR “clinical judgement” OR “clinical problem solving”) 581 I also decide to use a previously successful search string in an alternative database: “Health and Medical Collection”.  Again there are many excellent articles being returned.
(“inquiry learning” OR “inquiry based learning” OR “problem based learning” OR “case based learning” OR “guided inquiry”) NEAR/3 (“clinical reasoning” OR “clinical judgement” OR “clinical problem solving”) 30 I decide to attempt to increase the relevance of my search results by using a proximity search.  This returns some excellent results and narrows the list down to a manageable number.
(“inquiry learning” OR “inquiry based learning” OR “guided inquiry”) AND (“improve” OR “promote” OR “develop”) AND (“clinical reasoning” OR “clinical judgement” OR “clinical problem solving”) 23 Again I decide to use the “Narrow Results” function and this time I am given the option to use Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) to narrow the search results.  I’m given the option to exclude problem-based learning and this ends up being the most successful search so far that excludes this term.
(“inquiry learning” OR “inquiry based learning” OR “problem based learning” OR “case based learning” OR “guided inquiry”) NEAR/3 (“clinical reasoning” OR “clinical judgement” OR “clinical problem solving”) 33 This search string was very effective in the “Health and Medical Collection” database, so I’ve decided to use this string in the “Education” database. Again, this search string, combined with searching in a relevant database has proved effective in ensuring overall relevance of results.

 

Overall I am really impressed with ProQuest Education.  It’s such a relief to be finding several relevant results again after my disappointing experience with A+ Education.  ProQuest is a very intuitive tool and it searches a huge collection of health education journals.  This is useful in my particular context, as we often look to Europe and North America for relevant literature in the dentistry discipline.

Becoming familiar with a variety of search tools and databases has been a very valuable experience.  Now it’s time to search for a different type of literature and commentary – via social media.

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