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CINAHL Searching

Best practices on searching the CINAHL Complete database.

Subject Headings

Advance searching gives the database more specific information for your research question. Subject Headings is one way to do an advance search. The information, links, and video below will give you more direction on how to perform an advance search.

Subject headings are assigned words or phrases used in a database to organize articles and more. 

  • Subject headings can help define your search.
  • If there is not a specific subject heading for your topic, you can continue to use keywords and synonyms.
  • Each database can have different subject headings, but you can find the list by searching the help feature or looking at the examples.

You may also look at the Major Subjects and Minor Subjects in any article of interest to find terms that would be more helpful in your search.

Looking at similar articles may bring other relevant articles to your searching, but you will need to limit the search again by your keywords, dates, source/article type, etc.



Advanced Search

Example of an Advanced Search:

Searching CINAHL for Qualitative Research

You can go to CINAHL to search for Qualitative Research. One of the things you can do is to add the following concepts to your search:

(MH "Qualitative Studies+") OR (MM "Focus Groups") OR (MM "Interviews+") OR (MM "Narratives+") OR “focus groups” OR interviews)