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Amanda Pruka
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Boolean: AND OR NOT

Phrase Searching and Nesting

PICO examples


Element of the clinical question  


Intervention (or cause, prognosis)

Comparison (optional)


Example In patients with acute bronchitis, do antibiotics none reduce sputum production, cough or days off?
Example In children with ADHD do pharmacological stimulants (i.e. Adderall, Foculin)  non-stimulant medications produce reduced instances of impulsivity?
Example Among family-members of patients undergoing diagnostic procedures does standard care, listening to tranquil music, or audiotaped comedy routines make a difference
in the reduction of reported anxiety


Combine Search Terms

Boolean Operators 

Boolean Operators are words (AND, OR, NOT) that combine or exclude keywords in a search.  Of course you will want to use Education related keywords. This example illustrates how to include or remove subjects with keywords.


AND narrows your search

  • "Malcolm X" AND biography finds resources with both terms

OR broadens your search

  • "Malcom X" OR literarcy finds resources with either term or both terms

 NOT excludes terms

  • "Malcolm X" NOT "Denzel Washington" excludes all books with the term "Denzel Washington"

Additional Guides