Skip to Main Content

Evidence-Based Dentistry: Forming
the Question

Forming the Question

The first step in finding evidence is to determine what kind of question you are asking. This determines the right resource to choose to answer it. One means of classifying your question is to ask if you need background or foreground information. This page shows resources to answer background questions.

Click here or choose the subtab above to learn about foreground information, where to find it, and how to formulate an answerable question using PICO.

What Kind of Question Are You Asking?

Getting Started: What kind of information do you need?

  • Background information
    • General questions (cause, presentation, treatment
    • Information that is static over time
    • Use textbooks, ebooks, narrative review articles
  • Foreground information
    • Specific questions regarding a patient or research topic
    • Use studies from peer-reviewed journals


Background & Foreground Information

Background information: use resources such as textbooks (print and electronic), and narrative reviews in journals which give a general overview of the topic. 

Useful resources include:

© UAB Libraries ι University of Alabama at Birmingham ι About Us ι Contact Us ι Disclaimer