Can resistance training improve bone mineral density in post-menopausal women?
Can yoga or massage improve lower back pain in elderly patients?
Can anatomical differences between males and females account for the observed difference in ACL injuries?
Does the grasping movement differ between Parkinson's and non-Parkinson's patients?
Can exercise improve glucose metabolism?
PubMed: The primary open access research database for the medical and health sciences fields. Open access searching interface for 'Medline.' Includes references from several hundred nursing journals.
CINAHL: Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature. Leading research from publications in the fields of nursing and allied health from 1982 to the present.
PsycINFO: Provides access to international literature in psychology and related disciplines. All records from 1967 to the present are indexed using the Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms.
ERIC (via CSA Ilumina): Premier U.S. database of education literature. Sponsored by the US Department of Education. Includes journal (EJ) and ERIC Document (ED) citations with abstracts; full text of ERIC Documents from 1993 to present.
Below are four major search strategies that you can use to systematically search across multiple databases, although the example below is from a PubMed search. Doing so will ensure with reasonable certainty that you do not miss important, relevant research on your topic. The example PICO (Research) question was chosen to illustrate the effectiveness and strengths of each search strategy since examples relevant to this topic are retrieved using each strategy in PubMed, CINAHL, Cochrane, and PsycInfo.
*Examples below refer to searching in PubMed, but the same methods can be used in other databases
**If using CINAHL for a Keyword Search, un-check the 'Suggest Subject Headings' box above the search boxes - then type in your Keywords and search
General Searching Tips for most research databases, including PubMed:
4 Search Strategies
Start with your topic statement, or with a Research or PICO Question
The examples below start with this research question or 'PICO question' (P=Problem/Popluation, I=Intervention/proposed solution, C=Comparison (optional alternate intervention or solution), O=desired Outcome) as a starting point:
Use the 2 Broad Strategies - Keyword and Keyword with Synonyms
Use the 2 Targeted Strategies - Keyword in Title and Subject Heading
2 Broad Strategies
2 Targeted Strategies
Choose one of the topics above or use your own research question:
1) What keywords will you use to search?
2) What synonyms can you think of for those keywords?
3) Try out a search in PubMed or another Research Database
4) Did you get some good results? If not, what other keywords and/or search strategies could you use?
5) When you see some good results, what "MeSH" (Medical Subject Headings) or other terminology do you see in the best, most relevant results?
6) Try another search using some of the keywords, subject headings, or terminology you've noticed. How are your results now?
7) Out of all your search results, choose the article you think best fits your topic, and that is a recently published research study article - one whose abstract describes the study's Methodology, Results, and Discussion or Conclusion.
8) How can you get the full text of the article you found?
9) Write (or type) a citation for your article using APA style.
9) Questions? Problems?
Contact your Health Sciences Librarian, or use Ask A Librarian!
View the 2 videos below to see examples of keyword searching in 2 major Health Sciences research databases: PubMed and CINAHL.
In each video, Look for:
PubMed Keyword searching via YouTube: http://youtu.be/GcOPnx0d0xY
CINAHL Keyword searching via YouTube: http://youtu.be/Ad_Q5vYYg_4