The links and tips on this page are intended to help you find useful nursing and healthcare related articles for family assessment and culturally competent care. If you're still not sure how to get started or you're struggling to find what you need, email or schedule an appointment with Ximena.
CINAHL Subject Headings may help you to focus your search on a particular health condition. If you need a refresher about how to use CINAHL Headings, watch this video.
Use CINAHL (The Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature) to find an articles from peer-reviewed nursing journals. (Use the link in the box above or through the library Databases list).
Searching for a health condition and the term risk or risk factors will often work well in CINAHL it is a descriptive term (subheading) often used in the database to narrow a subject search
Hypertension and risk
Hypertension and “risk factors”
Stress* also works reasonably well as a search term because it is commonly used in healthcare literature in combination with specific diseases or conditions. (With the asterisk, stress* picks up the word stress, stresses, stressful, stressor, stressors).
On the other hand, the term protective factors as not as common in the healthcare databases, so if you use search on a particular health condition and the phrase “protective factors”, you will results, but the results you do get may not be as relevant because it is not part of the subject indexing terminology of the database.
Hypertension and “protective factors” or hypertension and "family strengths" will likely not retrieve very many really relevant results, especially if you are limiting your results to results from nursing journals, as described below. Adding limiters reduces the number of results you have to choose from.
To search for literature on protective factors or family strengths, you will retrieve more relevant articles if you determine what the protective factors or health factors are for that condition and run a search on it. For example, you might search for:
Hypertension and (physical activity or exercise)
You might also search your health condition as a subject along with the subheading “prevention and control”. Ask your librarian for help with this.
After you have searched and have a list of results to choose from, check the peer-reviewed limit to the left of your search results. Add nursing to the last line of your search to and use the drop down to the right to select journal subset as shown in Figure 1 (--or just type in SB nursing on the last line and leave the drop down at the default). You can also limit to English language to the left of your results. Scroll down until you see the word “Language” and check the box for “English”).
If you have trouble applying the limiter in the search blanks, another way to apply the Journal Subset limiter is through the "Show More" menu under the year slider on the left. Under the Journal Subset menu, select Nursing.
In some cases, research articles may focus on a population that does not have the same ethnicity as that of your family. This does not necessarily mean the research is not relevant to your family, but you have the option to search for articles that provide a broader overview or perspective.
There are many different types of review articles. The Publication Type limiter "Review" in CINAHL finds reviews of the published literature. CINAHL Reviews may be narrative reviews of previous literature on the topic or they may present a more general introduction on a topic. Reviews may mention findings from research studies or case reports. Either way, they usually provide a broader summary or overview of what is known about a topic than CINAHL's "Research Article" Publication Type. (In contrast, publications indexed as a "Research Article" in CINAHL present detailed methods, findings, and discussion of a the significance research study). To limit to review articles in CINAHL, click the “show more” option under the year slider to the left of your search results, shown in Figure 2 below.
In the resulting pop-up box, choose “Review” from the drop down menu labelled “Publication type”, then click the “search” button to apply the limiter, as shown in Figure 3 below.
[Descriptions of CINAHL document types from EBSCO]