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Nursing: Evidence Based Practice Resources

Develop search strategy with subject headings

A. Keywords


elderly, aged, seniors,

Tai chi

B. Using CINAHL translate search strategy into Subject Headings.

1. Go to CINAHL

2. Go to advanced search

3. Click on Suggest Subject terms

4. Type in Falls

5. Suggested term "Accidental Falls"

6. Click on box beside Accidental Falls/Search Database

7. Go to Search History

8. Clear search box

9. Type in Elderly  - Elderly Use: Aged

10. Click on Aged and click on explode to get additional terms - Search Database

11. Clear and suggest subject terms

12. Tai Chi Chuan Use: Tai Chi, click on box beside Tai Chi - Search Database

13. Clear

14. Look and Search History

15. Combine searches with AND  - click on box beside searches and choose search with AND to get 132 results


Strategy 1. Refine by publication type

From the 132 search results, we want to get the best research articles.

We want the best research evidence - from systematic reviews, meta-analysis, rct's, cohort studies, case control studies, case series etc. (see Research Design Tab).

A. Select Publication Type - Systematic review, Meta-Analysis - 16 results



B. Choose edit beside your search statement and white screen will pop-up

Select Publication Type - Clinical trial, Randomized Controlled Trial, Research, - 74 results




Strategy 2. Use appropriate subject headings for research methodologies.

A. Start with quantitative and suggest subject terms.

Then choose various research design methodologies (clincial trials, pre-test-post-test etc.) and use explode when available..

Then combine with search statement to produce 60 results.

B. Use Subject headings for Qualitative

Use subject heading Qualitative Studies.  Explode this subject heading to include action research, etc.

Use subject heading Life experiences

Use text phrase "lived experience*"

Combine these subject headings together with OR

Combine S4 and S8 to get just 3 results


Note: CINAHL subject headings "Systematic Review" and "Meta Analysis"

Strategy 3. Use CINAHL clincial queries

What is a clinical query?

It is a pre-set search strategy which is applied as a limit to retrieve authoritative relevant articles.

Depending on the search that is run, most of the categories (therapy, prognosis, review, qualitative, causation (etiology), produce the highest number of hits when the limit is set to either best balance or high sensitivity.

Perform search.  Then choose Edit from the search results, and choose the Clinical Queries set of limiters.

Clinical Queries  - Therapy

Clinical queries  - Qualitative - High specificity

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