PubMed Database

PubMed Database

PubMed Database

To Comment on PubMed Database:

  1. Describe three unique features of PubMed database that sets this database apart from other evidence-based search engines.
  2. Compare and contrast two additional databases and reference your selected topic, by using the Cochrane Collaboration and Medline as your search engines.
  3. Determine how you applied the three key questions when deciding which database to use.


The PubMed database is one in which millions of citations of articles and journals are located free of charge (Melnyk & Fineout-Overholt, 2015). Next, this database “has been indexing evidence” for over 100 years, which provides “access to all evidence” (Melnyk & Fineout-Overholt, 2015, p. 61). PubMed not only provides free access to its users but also allows free retrieval of articles to the MEDLINE database as well; yet still provides more information than the later database and Cochrane (Melnyk & Fineout-Overholt, 2015). PubMed Database Finally, to achieve the best search results, PubMed contains an automatic term mapping engine, which allows for a more thorough and specific search (Melnyk & Fineout-Overholt, 2015).

Although I did not use PubMed as my primary database search engine, I did use the Cochrane and MEDLINE databases to find the most appropriate data. In hindsight, instead of using the Cochrane database, and knowing what I know now, I would have used the PubMed database to increase my search history to improve the likelihood of receiving important information. While typing into the search engine for the Cochrane database, I used keywords such as “miscarriage”, “first trimester”, “exercise risks in pregnancy”, and “pregnancy” and did not receive as many results as I was hoping. There were numerous amounts of articles relating to pregnancy and risk for miscarriage, but none that truly correlated the examined question, which noted the significance of miscarriage in its relation to exercise. The Cochrane database only contains citations that are systematic reviews, which is why their results are minimal compared to PubMed and MEDLINE (Melnyk & Fineout-Overholt, 2015). The Cochrane database, for other users, is often not free of charge, unless the library associated with your facility has privileges and a subscription (Melnyk & Fineout-Overholt, 2015). Even so, if one would like access to the Cochrane database, they are free to subscribe and pay for its service (Melnyk & Fineout-Overholt, 2015).  The MEDLINE database, however does offer free usage from any computer and if access is denied, one would be able to go through PubMed to be granted free access (Melnyk & Fineout-Overholt, 2015). PubMed Database. However, while using the MEDLINE database, I found nearly all of my results. There too, were not very many articles that answered my question directly, but I was able to read many of them and dissect the important arguments necessary within the journals. There were hundreds of journals are articles that illustrated the importance of exercise in pregnancy, and also risks correlated to miscarriages, yet neither proved my clinical question.

The three key questions Melnyk and Fineout-Overholt discussed in relation to determining which database would be most applicable were the validity, reliability and applicability of my search (2015).  The first question, validity refers to the results and its valid status (Melnyk & Fineout-Overholt, 2015). PubMed Database When asking my PICOT question regarding exercise and its risk for miscarriage, I wanted to make sure I found appropriate data that supported my question. While using the Cochrane database, although I knew the results would be valid, due to the type of reviews the database holds, I did not find the appropriate data to use for my topic. However, while using MEDLINE, I was able to come across many studies, see how they tested their theories, and was able to come to a conclusion which ensued the best data for my specific topic. I made sure the articles were not filled with bias to ensure there were no influential barriers that could have effected the studies (Melnyk & Fineout-Overholt, 2015). The next question I asked myself was, are the results reliable and most appropriate for the topic I am researching? While looking at the methods used to collect data, I concluded there were no errors in data measurements. Lastly, applicability refers to the usefulness of the databases’ citations as it results from my PICOT question. From the articles I found, I wanted to make sure there was relevant information, to what I was researching, to make sure the results were applicable to my question PubMed Database. Although I found no strong evidence regarding the risk for miscarriage, due to exercise in a normal and uneventful pregnancy, I did find important data that proved the importance of exercise and its rate to reduce miscarriages among women in their first trimester. The applicability of the data was precise in answering my clinical question.


Melnyk, B. M., & Fineout-Overholt, E.  (2015).  Evidence-based practice in nursing & healthcare:  A guide to best practice (3rd ed).  Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer Health. PubMed Database.

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