Skip to Main Content

Searching for Health Sciences Research

Learn how to create a searchable question to find and access literature to help answer your clinical question.

Finding Search Terms by Candise Branum

Once you have your PICOT question built, you can identify the main points; often these will be your primary search terms. But you might want to include synonyms or alternative search terms to broaden your search and get more results. For the most comprehensive search, we recommend using a combination of keywords and subject headings (such as MeSH or CINAHL Subject Headings).

For example, if you are searching for information about older people, you might try the following terms:

  • Older people
  • Elderly
  • Geriatric
  • Aging

One great way to find alternative keywords is to use a medical encyclopedia or an online medical reference source -- not only will you learn more about the concept, but you'll learn common alternative terms.

Accessibility | Proxy Logout