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Evidence-Based Practice

Finding Studies

CINAHL Complete

Limit Publication Type: Systematic Review
Limit Publication Type: Meta Analysis
Limit Publication Type: Meta Synthesis
Limit Publication Type: Randomized Controlled Trial
Limit Publication Type: Clincal Trial
CINAHL Subject Heading: Prospective Studies (Use to find Cohort Studies)
CINAHL Subject Heading: Case Control Studies
Search Title and/or Abstract for phrase: Case Series
Limit Publication Type: Case Study
Limit Publication Type: Practice Guidelines

Clinical Queries are sets of filters that make it easier to search for systematic reviews and specific types of research studies. A Clinical Query looks fairly simple but behind each query is a set of search strategies strung together to filter search results to scientifically sound and clinically relevant studies. In CINAHL, the Clinical Queries limiter refines search results in five research areas:

  • Therapy
  • Prognosis
  • Review
  • Qualitative
  • Causation (Etiology)

Three strategies are available for each of the five research areas:

  • High Sensitivity is the broadest search to include ALL relevant material, including less relevant material.
  • High Specificity is the most targeted search to include only the MOST relevant results, thereby eliminating less relevant results.
  • Best Balance is an attempt to strike a balance between Sensitivity and Specificity.  

To view the underlying search strategies for each Clinical Query filter, see the EBSCO Support document:

What Are the Search Strategies Used by CINAHL Clinical Queries?


Limit Article Types: Systematic Reviews
Limit Article Types: Meta-Analysis
Limit Article Types: Randomized Controlled Trial
Limit Article Types: Clincal Trial
MeSH Term: Cohort Studies
MeSH Term: Case Control Studies
Search Title for phrase: Case Series
Limit ArticleTypes: Case Reports
Limit Article Types: Guideline

Iintended for clinicians, PubMed Clinical Queries are sets of filters that streamline the search for three clinical research areas:

  • Clinical Study Categories (Etiology, Diagnosis, Therapy (default), Prognosis, and Clinical prediction guides
  • Systematic Reviews 
  • Medical Genetics

Two scope filters are provided for the Clinical Study Categories:

  • Broad (default): Sensitive search – retrieves more citations including highly relevant but also less relevant 
  • Narrow: Specific search – retrieves most precise, relevant citations but fewer overall

View this PubMed tutorial for a brief but informative demonstration of the Clinical Queries feature.

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