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Systematic Reviews

Searching in CINAHL

What is CINAHL?

CINAHL stands for the Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature. It is a database (a collection of articles, books and other electronic information), through which you can locate literature on nursing, biomedicine, health sciences librarianship, alternative/complementary medicine, consumer health and 17 allied health disciplines.

How do I access CINAHL?

You can access CINAHL via the library's homepage, as shown in the image below.

CINAHL Subject Headings is the controlled vocabulary used exclusively by CINAHL. To search CINAHL Subject Headings, type a term into the first search box on the screen. Make sure the "Suggest Subject Terms" box is checked. Click "Search."

The next screen displays a list of CINAHL Subject Headings for the term you entered. This list allows you to select the most relevant term for your search. In most instances, the most relevant term will be at the top of the list.

The Explode and Major Concept columns give options for broadening and/or narrowing the search. The Explode box, when available, will include search terms that are more narrow for the term pain in the set of results it retrieves. Major Concept retrieves articles in which a significant portion of the article is devoted to that term. Once you have determined whether or not to check the Explode or Major Concept column, select the box in front of the term pain, and click Search Database at the right side of the screen.

The results from the your first search are displayed on the screen. To add a second subject to the search, click the clear button. Then type your other keyword in the box and click Search.

Maps and Directions