OccupationalTherapy.com Phone: 866-782-9924


How Does Boolean Key Word Searching Help Us in Our OT Practice?

Sara Loesche, MS, OTR/L, CHT

April 29, 2015

Share:

Question

How does Boolean searching help us in our OT practice?

Answer

I do lean on Boolean operators or Boolean search terminology.  This is the use of AND, OR, or NOT to broaden or narrow your search.  For keyword searching again, you think of a topic, you plug it in the box, and hit search.  It is quick.  It is basic, but it is not intuitive.  If you put occupation into a search terminology box, it is not going to know that you mean occupation the way we know occupation from the practice framework as therapists.  It will think of occupation as in occupying something like land or occupation as a job or vocation.  A database is not smart enough or intuitive enough to think of the meaning behind that word.  We need to help it.  One of the ways is by adding more terms.  If we put in the words occupational therapy and we want those terms together, you can use quotation marks to chunk them together, and the database will search for them together as one term. 

Here is an example for using the Boolean operators, AND, OR, and NOT.  Using the example of stroke, you may want to learn about cerebellar stroke.  You are going to plug into the box stroke AND cerebellum.  It has to look for those two things together.  It will not produce all the results from stroke and cerebellum separately.  Using the AND operator will narrow your results.  Also, you want to use the fewest number of terms in that search box to get the most information.  The more you plug in, sometimes it confuses the database or search engine.  If you want to use OR, remember how I said before that the thesaurus may not recognize stroke as a term, but it might like cerebrovascular accident.  If you put in your search engine stroke, you may be missing out on all the information and articles that use cerebrovascular accident instead.  Using the term OR will broaden your results.  If you type in stroke or cerebrovascular accident, it will encompass all of those things.  You can also use the quotation marks to chunk together “cerebrovascular accident” and the search engine will only look for those terms together.  If you have synonyms or closely related words, you will want to use the OR operator.  To go back to the previous example, I am looking for not just stroke or CVA, but a cerebellar CVA.  Using both the AND and OR operators, I would use cerebellum AND “stroke OR cerebrovascular accident”.  At this point, I am ensuring that I am only going to see cerebellar stroke information.

 


sara loesche

Sara Loesche, MS, OTR/L, CHT

Sara Loesche is an occupational therapist and an Associate Professor at Thomas Jefferson University in the Occupational Therapy Assistant Studies Program. For the past 10 years, she has taught a course in information literacy as it applies to occupational therapy in both the academic and practice environments. This has led to presenting on the topic at both state and national conferences.

 

 


Related Courses

Ergonomics in Early Childhood: Strategies for Childcare Workers
Presented by Sara Loesche, MS, OTR/L, CHT
Video

Presenter

Sara Loesche, MS, OTR/L, CHT
Course: #3988Level: Introductory1 Hour
  'This course was excellent encouraging therapists to use the skills they have and branch out to ergonomics'   Read Reviews
This course will discuss the role that ergonomics can play to improve the health and wellness of childcare workers. It will also explore the physical demands of childcare related tasks and the risk factors associated with these activities and environment in which they are performed as well as practical strategies for prevention of injury.

How Information Literacy Can Support Occupational Therapy Practice
Presented by Sara Loesche, MS, OTR/L, CHT
Video

Presenter

Sara Loesche, MS, OTR/L, CHT
Course: #5041Level: Introductory1 Hour
  'Enthusiastic and knowledgeable presenter with very practical and helpful information'   Read Reviews
There is an abundant amount of information available today regarding choices about health and wellness. Busy occupational therapy practitioners need to be able to find, evaluate, organize, and convey information accurately and efficiently in order to provide evidence-based services and promote health literacy to consumers of occupational therapy services. This course provides practical strategies to implement information literacy skills in practice.

Work from Wherever: Ergonomic Tips for A Safe & Healthy Workstation Set Up at Home
Presented by Sara Loesche, MS, OTR/L, CHT
Video

Presenter

Sara Loesche, MS, OTR/L, CHT
Course: #4791Level: Introductory1 Hour
  'thorough explanation of work station impact on joints'   Read Reviews
Many individuals are moving to either full or part-time remote work environments and this can present a challenge in setting up efficient and comfortable workstations. This course will address common risk factors for office-based jobs, recommended workstation setup based on current ergonomic principles, and examples of stretches to promote health and wellness while working in the remote/home environment.

Advocacy Strategies for the Occupational Therapy Assistant
Presented by Sara Loesche, MS, OTR/L, CHT
Video

Presenter

Sara Loesche, MS, OTR/L, CHT
Course: #3806Level: Introductory1 Hour
  'Speaker was informative and provided practical tools and education in advocacy for OT practitioners'   Read Reviews
This course will explore the role of the occupational therapy assistant and its value to the occupational therapy profession as well as larger health care, educational, and community contexts. Strategies for advocacy for the occupational therapy assistant will be highlighted.

Post-Op Management of Thumb Arthroplasty: An Overview
Presented by Sara Loesche, MS, OTR/L, CHT
Video

Presenter

Sara Loesche, MS, OTR/L, CHT
Course: #5129Level: Introductory1 Hour
  'The content was easily laid out and explained well'   Read Reviews
Occupational therapy practitioners play an important role in educating clients on what to expect after surgery including guidance of post-operative therapy protocols and returning to function. This course will discuss the surgical management of CMC thumb arthritis, specifically the ligament reconstruction and tendon interposition (LRTI) surgery as well as post-operative expectations.

Our site uses cookies to improve your experience. By using our site, you agree to our Privacy Policy.