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University of Portland Clark Library

NRS 651: Epidemiology and Clinical Prevention in Population Health: Population Searching & Data


Population Searching in CINAHL

To determine how CINAHL describes your population, you might use the CINAHL Headings tool to examine CINAHL's hierarchical tree of subject terms. These four top-level headings could be entry points; there is some overlap among the narrower headings.

  • Geographic Locations could be combined with one of the below types of headings, e.g., Hawaii AND Indigenous Peoples
  • Named Groups (includes Ethnic Groups)
  • Population (includes Demography, Family Characteristics, Rural/Suburban/Urban Population)
  • Population Characteristics (includes Demography, Communities, Socioeconomic Factors)
  • Sociology (includes Ethnic Groups, Family (and Family Characteristics), some Socioeconomic Factors)

Population Searching in MEDLINE

MEDLINE has a similar hierarchical tree of subject terms; its tool is called Medical Subject Headings (currently "MeSH 2020"). These headings could be entry points because they have narrower terms; there is some overlap among the narrower headings.

  • Family (includes Family Characteristics, Marital Status)
  • Persons (Similar to CINAHL "Named Groups")
  • Population Characteristics (includes Population, Demography)

Age Limiters in Library Databases

Some of the databases frequently used in nursing research have special limiters for different age groups; using these limiters is a great way to find articles about your specific population. Limiters can be items you select from a list (default) or text you enter in a search box (noted below). 





Infants & Toddlers

Infant, Newborn: birth-1 month
Infant: 1-23 months
All Infant

Infant, Newborn: birth-1 month
Infant: 1-23 months
All Infant: birth-23 months

Neonatal (birth-1 mo)
Infancy (2-23 mo)

Early childhood

Child, Preschool: 2-5 years
Child, Preschool^^

Child, Preschool: 2-5 years

Preschool Age (2-5 yrs)

Middle childhood

Child: 6-12 years

Child: 6-12 years

School Age (6-12 yrs)


Adolescent: 13-18 years

Adolescent: 13-18 years

Adolescence (13-17 yrs)

Early Adulthood

Young Adult^^ (19-24 years)

Young Adult: 19-44 yrs

Young Adulthood (18-29 yrs)

Thirties (30-39 yrs)

Middle Adulthood

Middle Aged: 45-64 years

Middle Aged: 45-64 years

Middle Age (40-64 yrs)

Late Adulthood

Aged 65+
Aged, 80 and over

Aged: 65+ years
Aged, 80 and over

Aged (65 yrs & older)
Very Old (85 yrs & older)

End of Life

Hospice Patients^^
Hospice and Palliative Nursing^^

Palliative Care^^
Terminal Care^^

Palliative Care^^

^^Subject Heading rather than Age Group | 503.943.7111 or 800.841.8261 | 5000 N. Willamette Blvd., Portland, OR 97203-5798 | © 2020 University of Portland, All Rights Reserved