Search pyramids to find research evidence

A Summary of

National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools (2013). Search Pyramids. Hamilton, ON: National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools. Available from: http://www.nccmt.ca/eiph/search-eng.html

Relevance for Public Health

These tools can be used to quickly and efficiently find high quality research evidence for public health to inform program and policy decisions.

Description

Developed by the National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools, search pyramids help users quickly find high quality research evidence on different public health topics. These pre-populated search pyramids link to relevant sources of evidence.

The search pyramids are based on the 6S pyramid of research evidence (DiCenso, Bayley & Haynes, 2009a, 2009b).

Pre-appraised resources are assessed for methodological rigour, and in some instances are synthesized (guidelines and systematic reviews). In other instances, the resources are both synthesized and summarized (Robeson, Dobbins, DeCorby & Tirilis, 2010). Databases, such as Health Evidence, critically appraise systematic reviews to assess the review's quality, and in some cases produce a summary of the review.

Accessing pre-appraised evidence according to the 6S pyramid is a more efficient way of finding research evidence since:

  • synthesized evidence encompasses systematic search and quality appraisal of many single studies, so that findings are less likely to be influenced by bias; and
  • evidence has been critically appraised to determine its methodological quality.

Features of the search pyramids include:

  • sources of research evidence;
  • sites that include pre-appraised evidence to ensure high quality evidence is accessed; and
  • customizable searches so users can include additional websites and save their settings.

The search pyramids can be used along with an online module, Searching For Evidence in Public Health, that can be accessed from NCCMT's Learning Centre.

Accessing the Method/Tool


Language(s)

Not specified

Format(s)

Not specified

Cost

Not Specified

Implementing the Method/Tool


Time for Participation/Completion

Information not available

Additional Resources and/or Skills Needed for Implementation

Not Specified

Steps for Using Method/Tool

The seven search pyramids are:

  1. General public health evidence
  2. Environmental health
  3. Injury prevention
  4. Mental health
  5. Health communication and social media
  6. Healthy habits (healthy eating, physical activity) for children
  7. Healthy habits (healthy eating, physical activity) for adults

Who is involved

Anyone looking for public health research evidence can use the search pyramids.

Conditions for Use

Not specified

Evaluation and Measurement Characteristics


Evaluation

Has not been evaluated

Validity

Not applicable

Reliability

Not applicable

Methodological Rating

Not applicable

Method/Tool Development


Developer(s)

Donna Ciliska
National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools
McMaster University
Website: www.nccmt.ca

Method of Development

An experienced librarian with expertise in evidence-informed practice and public health and McMaster University faculty developed the search pyramids.

Release Date

2013

Contact Person/Source

National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools
McMaster University
1685 Main St W
Hamilton, ON L8S 1G5
Email: nccmt@mcmaster.ca

These summaries are written by the NCCMT to condense and to provide an overview of the resources listed in the Registry of Methods and Tools and to give suggestions for their use in a public health context. For more information on individual methods and tools included in the review, please consult the authors/developers of the original resources.

Resources

Title of Primary Resource Search Pyramids
File Attachment None
Web-link
Reference

National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools (2013). Search Pyramids. Hamilton, ON: National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools. Available from: http://www.nccmt.ca/eiph/search-eng.html

Type of Material Online tool
Format On-line Access
Cost to Access None.
Language English, French
Conditions for Use

Copyright © 2013 National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools

Title of Supplementary Resource An introduction to evidence-based public health and a compendium of critical appraisal tools for public health practice
File Attachment None
Web-link
Reference Ciliska, D., Thomas, H. & Buffet, C. (2012). An Introduction to Evidence-Informed Public Health and A Compendium of Critical Appraisal Tools for Public Health Practice (Revised). Hamilton, ON: National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools
Type of Material Paper
Format On-line Access
Cost to Access None.
Language English, French
Conditions for Use Not specified
Title of Supplementary Resource Accessing pre-appraised evidence: fine-tuning the 5S model into a 6S model
File Attachment None
Web-link
Reference DiCenso, A., Bayley, L. & Haynes, R. B. (2009a). Accessing pre-appraised evidence: fine-tuning the 5S model into a 6S model. Evidence-Based Nursing, 12: 99-101. doi: 10.1136/ebn.12.4.99-b
Type of Material Journal article
Format Periodical
Cost to Access Journal article purchase
Language English
Conditions for Use Not specified
Title of Supplementary Resource Editorial: Accessing preappraised evidence: fine-tuning the 5S model into a 6S model
File Attachment None
Web-link
Reference

DiCenso, A., Bayley, L. & Haynes, R. B (2009b). ACP Journal Club. Editorial: Accessing preappraised evidence: fine-tuning the 5S model into a 6S model. Annals of Internal Medicine, 151(6), JC3-2, JC3-3.

Type of Material Journal article
Format On-line Access
Cost to Access Journal article purchase
Language English
Conditions for Use Not specified

Have you used this resource? Share your story!