CINAHL Advanced Search Techniques

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Effective search techniques, this presentation is designed to assist off campus nursing students and includes strategies for searching by subject heading and keyword.

Text of CINAHL Advanced Search Techniques

  • 1. Specialty Cancer/Palliative Care Nursing Searching the databases: CINAHL Sharon Karasmanis [email_address] Faculty Librarian, Health Sciences

2. 3 stages in the search process:

  • Search strategy preparing your search
  • Using the databases
    • Understanding which database to use
    • Understanding which search terms to use
    • Understanding the database functionality
  • Finding the full text of the article

3. Sample search query

  • What factors influence the control of post-operative pain in older people?
  • What are the key concepts in this question - look for alternative words to describe these concepts?
    • Factors (communication, patient interview, pain assessment practice)
    • Pain control (pain management or pain measurement)
    • Post-operative pain (post surgical pain)
    • Older people (aged person, elderly etc)
  • Use these words to form the foundation for your search

4. Its helpful to draw a concept map Concept 1 + Concept 2 + Concept 3 communication or pain management or post operative pain or patient interview pain measurement post surgicalpain or consultation or pain assessment or post-operative pain 5. Efficient searching requires subject heading and keyword searching!

  • Subject heading (subject term) search:
    • this is a more specific way of searching where you retrieve only those records which list the subject heading for your concept
    • e.g. Subject heading for strokewill cover:cerebrovascular accident/s, cerebral vascular accident/s, CVA/s etc.
  • Keyword search
    • this is broader way of searching where you will retrieve records which mention your keywords but may or may not be specifically about your concept

6. More on subject headings

  • Subject Headings(or controlled vocabulary) overcome variations in the:
    • use of terminology e.g. back pain, spinal pain or backache
    • use of spelling e.g. ageing or aging
    • Tick the Subject Heading box, scroll down to the used for to look for other relevant keywords
  • Scope note : describes how the term is used in the database, the scope of the term or the history of the indexing

7. To look for subject terms, login to the CINAHL database:

  • (A-Z Databases/Journals)
  • Click onSuggest Subject Termsand enter your query

8. Concept 1: subject heading searchcommunication

  • Use the subject termcommunication
  • Do not use diacritics e.g.* (only use in keyword search)
  • Select the term, andexplode(to include narrower terms)
  • Read theScope Note
  • Tick on theSearch Database(green box)

9. Generic search tips for keyword searching

  • Spelling:be aware of variations e.g.p ae diatric or p e diatric; counselling or counseling; ageing or aging
  • Terminology: the termstrokecould also includecerebral vascular accident/s, cerebrovascular disorders
  • Truncation: occupation * will produce occupation, occupational, occupations
  • Wildcard (?) for example:randomi ? edwill retrieverandomi z ed and randomi s ed
  • Phrase searchuse quotation marks to search as a phrase e.g. acquired brain injury or quality of life
  • Understand Boolean operators and+or

10. Concept 1: keyword search c ommunicat*orpatient interview*orconsultation*

  • Use the asterisk to search for all forms of the word e.g. communicat* - communication/s, communicate, communicating, communicated
  • Usingor will combine all words within your first concept
  • When searching by keyword, do not tick the subject heading box

11. Concept 2: subject heading and keywords

  • Searched for and used the subject heading:pain measurement
  • Searched for keywords:pain management or pain assessment* or pain measurement*

12. Concept 3: subject heading and keywords

  • Searched for and used the subject heading:postoperative pain
  • Searched for keywords:postoperative pain or post-operative pain or post surgical pain

13. Search results showing a combination subject heading and keyword search 14. Limit your search

  • Use theEditfunction to limit your search
  • Useful limits in CINAHL include:
    • Peer-reviewed
    • English language
    • Date
    • Age groups
  • Important :
  • Click:View Resultsafter editing to see the edited list.

15. Other considerations:

  • You can just use subject headings or keywords separately, or as individual searches.
  • There may not always be a subject term or heading for your query, in this case, just use a keyword search
  • Sometimes there may be two subject terms that you can use e.g. maternal-child nursing or community health nursing

16. Check the full record for the source, and more relevant subject headings & keywords 17. Search results finding the full text!

  • some databases will have theFull Text Findericon to link you to the full text of the article
  • If not, search the Catalogue by the title of the journal via theJournal titlestab and follow the links to the full text:
    • sometimes the article may only be in print copy in the Library
  • If not held by the Library, request the article via Document Delivery
  • Ensure you have registered for remote delivery, instruction in the guide under off campus services.

18. Another useful feature: set up an account in CINHAL to save searches, articles, journal alerts .. 19. Homework!

  • Search in CINAHL for the following subject terms
  • Check the scope note (if available), search by the term,view the results, and practice the edit function
  • Look for the full text in the Librarys collection
    • Symptom distress
    • Palliative care
    • Quality of life
    • Oncologic nursing
    • Cancer pain
    • Cancer fatigue
    • Pleural effusion malignant
    • Breast neoplasms
    • Hormone therapy