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Health Sciences - Including Nursing, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Kinesiology


Through this LibGuide you may see which databases and online reference works are most helpful for researching health sciences topics.  Be sure to click the "More Info" link next to each database for the best understanding of what that database covers.  Also, it's a good idea to consult the "Help" link provided in each database for tips on searching techniques.  And please feel free to consult KML's librarians via Ask A Librarian links if you run into difficulties.

One important factor to be aware of as you search through many of our electronic databases is the specific vocabulary you use for topic.  In the Health Sciences field, there is a specialized vocabulary that can make very small differences with how successful or unsuccessful your search results may be.  This vocabulary is known as MESH or Medical Subject Headings.  We have included a link to the National Library of Medicine, who originally developed these subject headings, so that you may learn a bit more about them and how they work.  However, the CINAHL (Cumulative Index of Nursing & Allied Health) Plus with Full Text has its own subject headings (CINAHL headings) that are separate and distinct from the MeSH headings.

Search Terms

Aside from the MeSH and CINAHL subject headings, you also may encounter what is known as Boolean Operators.  While not the friendliest name, boolean operators are used to help define the relationships between the words or groups of words you are searching for within a database.  Parallel construction in them works like the following: narrows and retrieves, broadens and retrieves, narrows and retrieves.  The good news is that there are only three of them!

They are:

And  Narrows search and retrieve records containing all of the words it separates,
Or  Broadens search and retrieve records containing any of the words it separates,
Not  Narrow search and retrieve records that do not contain the term following it.


For more information, we recommend looking towards the EBSCOHost Help on Boolean Terms.