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Optometry Digital Literacy Toolkit

A toolkit to assist Optometry students with developing personal digital literacy capacity

Ask a Question


Remember the process of evidence-based practice from the introductory module?

This module deals with step one: Ask a Question.

Back to the Scenario

In the previous module we also met Terri, who we think has conjunctivitis. But we still have some questions about this:


Activity: Symptoms of Conjunctivitis

For the purposes of the scenario, let's test our knowledge of conjunctivitis by completing this activity:

It Starts With a Question

The process of EBP begins with a question, which then leads to an inquiry and an action (and possibly another question).

It's important to get the questions correct at the beginning. In evidence-based practice, we can classify questions as either background or foreground.

To find these resources and get a background on your topic you’ll need to do some topic searching. If you need a refresher on how to search quickly and effectively, have a look at the Library’s Learn page for advice or the Advanced Search Health guide.

As you commence your studies, you'll have far more background questions than foreground questions - that's OK, and will change as you gain experience and knowledge.

Developing Foreground Questions

Foreground questions are the goal in EBP as they lead us to clinical decisions. A useful tool for formulating foreground questions is the PICO model.

Click on each of the PICO elements below to learn more:

Thinking about your foreground questions in terms of the PICO components will help with finding the relevant information to form an answer.

More on PICO
To find out more about using PICO, complete the following activity taken from the Library's Advanced Search Health guide.

Activity: Foreground or Background

Scenario: Allergic, Bacterial or Viral?

Use PICO to Create the Question

Let's use PICO to create a foreground question based on the scenario.

Now that we have a foreground, 'answerable' question, we can move on to searching for the best treatment option for your patient, Terri.

Further Help

The Optometry Digital Literacy Toolkit was developed by Deakin University Library.
Please get in touch if you have any questions or feedback.