As you progress through the Athletic Training Program you will learn about Evidence Based Research/Practice. Evidence Based Research is the expectation that as a professional you are able to locate, evaluate, and implement the best information when making treatment/prevention/diagnosis decisions. This guide will include tips and strategies that will help you discover the best resources for your research question.
For example: If you one of your athletes was coming back from a sprained ankle and asked you if taping their ankle would help prevent future sprained ankles. Your PICO would look like this
P: Soccer Players recovering from sprained ankle (in some cases the gender and/or age range may make a difference. You can start specific and move to a broader search if you do not find a lot of results)
C: None (In this case you are comparing taping to doing nothing at all)
O: Reduced occurrence of subsequent sprained ankles
Evidence based research places provides guidance for deciding which types of studies you should use. The preference is always for systematic reviews and meta analysis, followed by randomized control trials. See the table below for additional study types.
The above image is based on the EBM Page Generator (2006) from Dartmouth College and Yale University and the Coursera MOOC “Understanding Clinical Research: Behind the Statistics“ (2016). Located at http://libguides.cmich.edu/cmed/ebm/pyramid
This guide will provide links to resources on Critically Appraised Topics (CAT).
Most research databases use a controlled vocabulary where they assign subject keywords to each article, which makes it easier to discover relevant resources. Unfortunately the terminology for the subject keywords is not standard. Below is a listing of how the databases you will encounter most often label their subject listings.
Peer review is a process where authors submit their articles for review by experts in the field. The reviewers evaluate the submitted articles for quality of study design, appropriateness of statistical analysis, and value of the conclusions drawn from the study. This process is not infallible, but does help maintain a higher standard of accountability. Many databases offer an option to filter for peer reviewed articles.
For more information on Evidence Based Medicine I recommend you check out these other resources