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Searching for & evaluating tests, measures (Tutorials)

Introduction to searching for & evaluating tests, measures (3.21m)

 This video introduces you to what tests & measures are, how they are commonly used, and the key databases you can use to find them in nursing, medicine and psychology.

Transcript: Introduction to searching for & evaluating tests, measures

In this video tutorial we will look at techniques to search for, and evaluate tests, measures and scales.

We will use databases that cater specifically to the fields of nursing, medicine and psychology.

This video will introduce tests, measures and scales.

We will also introduce the databases that we will explore in this tutorial.

So, what are they and how are they used?

Tests, measures, scales and instruments are tools used in research process. They are used to collect results or data on a measurable variable.

To illustrate how they are used, let's use a few well-known examples.

In the 1950s a physician named Virginia Apgar thought it would be useful to create a standard test used to quickly assess the health of newborn children,

The test gives scores on five variables,helping to determine if the baby requires immediate medical attention.

The APGAR test has become a commonly used and well-known tool in hospitals.

Another example was created by Aaron Beck and his colleagues to measure the severity of depression in individuals.

The test is a set of 21 multiple choice questions that patients answer themselves based on their thoughts and recent experiences.

Why should we want to be able to find these?

Using an already created measure can save you time, if it is appropriate to your research. They can also increase the quality of your work, if the measure has been shown to be reliable and valid.

That brings us to our next question,why should we evaluate them?

Before using a scale or test in your research, check to see how other authors have used the 
scale.

It can be useful to see how well they found it to work, and if they have comments regarding the 
validity, reliability, and reproducibility.

These are important terms that will help us later in our searching.

Anything else I should know? Always contact the original test creator before using it, to ask for permission.

Also, finding the right test for your work can take time, so allow yourself to have some patience.

Before we move on to our next video, let's look at the databases that we will explore to find 
these. 

CINAHL, the key database for nursing  and allied health literature.

Medline, using the OVID interface is the key biomedical database.

Finally, we will look at PsycINFO, which contains many articles that cover psychological topics.

Beyond disciplined-based databases, UBC has access to all the resources where 
custom measures can be found.

These include Health and Psychosocial Instruments (HaPI), and mental measurements yearbook,which are both available and accessible through the UBC Library.

Thanks for watching this first video in our series!

In this video we introduced tests & measures, why we would use them in our research, and then finally  databases we can use to find them in nursing, medicine and psychology.

Next up, let's step into CINAHL where we will search for tests, and some tricks to find out how useful they might be for your research.