MDSC1102: Literature review
Step 1: Find the key concepts in your question
What are concepts?
Take the following research question as an example:
Are electronic cigarettes as effective as nicotine patches in assisting smokers to quit smoking?
The important elements in this question are simply:
- Electronic cigarettes
- Nicotine patches
- Smoking cessation or quitting smoking.
What is PICO?
From PICO to a Logic Grid
Once you have identified the key concepts from your question using PICO, transfer these concepts to a 'logic grid' as shown below in the example.
There may be more than one of each element. For example, your population may be 'elderly stroke survivors' or 'Teenagers with type 1 diabetes'. If so, just add an extra P column to the grid.
The logic grid will help you:
- identify the concepts in your question which need to be included in the search
- clarify which concepts can be left out of the search, or added later if you get too many results that prove to be irrelevant to your question
- prepare for finding appropriate and useful synonyms, acronyms, variant spellings etc. for each concept.
Here is an example of a logic grid: