Evidence-based practice is defined as the ‘method of
established evidence, decision making, and nursing proficiency to provide
holistic patient care (Boswell and Cannon, 2014). This means that it is vital for
nurses to keep up to date with the most recent, scientific research evidence to
provide safe and efficient care for patients. According to Stevens (2013), nurses
must be able to provide individualised care to patients by taking their
preferences into consideration to meet their health outcomes. The Nursing and Midwifery
Council (NMC) Code (2015) states that nurses should use evidence-based
knowledge when giving patients advise and information regarding their health
care.

Nurses may explore research using evidence-based models such
as the PICO framework (population, intervention, comparison, outcome) (Sacket
et al, 1997). PICO is a model used to guide the search strategy for example,
the question considered for this research strategy is as follows:

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“Compared to the
behaviour-change approach, how effective is an empowerment approach in health
promotion to reduce smoking in patients?”

P

Population

Patients who smoke

I

Intervention

Behaviour-change approach to health promotion

C

Comparison

Empowerment approach to health promotion

O

Outcome

Smoking reduction

Figure 1

Once a research question has been formulated, a literature
search should be carried out to find out what research has been conducted on
the topic of interest (Aslam and Emmanuel, 2010). Generating key words using
the PICO formulation will help facilitate the identification of relevant information
(Sackett et al., 1997). When generating search terms, the use of synonyms and
alternate terms can increase the chances of retrieving relevant material (Grewal,
Kataria and Dhawan, 2016). Figure 2 highlights key words that are relevant to
the key concepts of the question. The key words were generated using a
combination of research database tools that assist in finding synonyms for
search terms, including the British Nursing Index Thesaurus and the PsychInfo
MeSH tool.

Key Concepts

Potential Search Terms

Patients who smoke

Patients, people, service user, smoking, smokers.

Behaviour-change approach to health promotion

Theories of behaviour change, behaviour change techniques,
behavioural counselling.

Empowerment approach to health promotion

Empowerment strategy, Patient-centred health education, Bottom-up
approach.

Smoking reduction

Reducing smoking, minimising smoking, decreasing smoking.

Figure 2: Table of search terms

Following the identification of search terms, Boolean operators
were used to refine the search strategy.

x

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