Prior to starting your research, it is important to choose the most appropriate database. For a search related to nursing, PubMed and CINAHL Complete are the principle sources.
|Types of Content||Journal articles||
|Are the articles peer-reviewed?||The majority||Only partly because CINAHL also contains non-scholarly publications, including information for patients|
|Subject headings (Controlled vocabulary)||
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)
CINAHL subject headings are based on MeSH, to which headings specific to nursing and allied health are added
While it is important to be familiar with the different characteristics of CINAHL Complete and PubMed, the choice of database must also take into account the question itself as well as the type of information required.
|If the question...||Example||Choose:|
|...is specifically related to nursing or allied health||What are the beneficial movements or exercises to help the elderly to preserve their mobility?||CINAHL Complete|
|...is more generally related to healthcare (ex. etiology of an illness, therapy, etc.)||What are the long-term effects of hormonal contraceptives on the health of non-menopausal women?||PubMed|
|...focuses on patients or aims to provide information to patients or their families/caregivers||What do you say to patients concerning the long-term effects of hormonal contraceptives?||CINAHL Complete|
Note: In the case of an exhaustive/comprehensive search in the areas of nursing or allied health, it is necessary to use both databases.
from the National Library of Medicine (NLM)