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University of Portland Clark Library

IHW 312: Research Design & Analysis: Locating Research Studies

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Clinical Queries

In MEDLINE and CINAHL, the Clinical Queries filter uses specific search strategies "to aid in retrieving scientifically sound and clinically relevant study reports." The Queries have three options:

  • High Sensitivity – the broadest search to include ALL relevant material. It may include less relevant materials.
  • High Specificity – the most targeted search to include only the most relevant result set, may miss some relevant materials.
  • Best Balance – retrieves the best balance between Sensitivity and Specificity.

If you use this filter, I strongly recommend that you use ALL of the options in sequence, or that you COMBINE the options (Ctrl-, Shift-, Command-click). Above all, learn about the search strategies behind the options before you use them, and consider building your own strategies. See below for links, and read the "Search Terms for Types of Studies" box elsewhere on this page for additional ideas.

Search Terms for Types of Studies

Add these search terms to your database search to locate specific types of research studies.

  • Qualitative
    • Qualitative Studies, Ethno*, Grounded Theory, Phenomenological Studies, Interview*, (Theme* OR Thematic)
  • Mixed Methods
    • Multimethod Studies
  • Cross-sectional
    • Cross Sectional Studies
  • Case-control
    • Case Control Studies, Hospital-Based Case Control, Matched Case Control, Population-Based Case Control
  • Correlational
    • Correlational studies
  • Experimental
    • Experimental Studies (but also: ask a librarian to help you explore options in the subject term thesaurus for each database)
  • Quasi-experimental
    • Quasi-Experimental, Multiple Time Series, Nonequivalent Control Group, Time Series
  • Cohort
    • Cohort, Concurrent Prospective Studies, Nonconcurrent Prospective Studies, Prospective Studies

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