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The Cinahl database is one of the most important databases that you will use to find
research. It provides coverage of the literature related to nursing and allied health.
Almost all English language publications on these subjects are listed here.
The first page on Cinahl offers a search box.
The best way to search Cinahl is to search one concept at a time. This way you can
check the subject headings for each concept to make sure we don’t missing any key
We are going to look for articles about sleep problems for people with dementia.
First we need to pick up all the articles on dementia.
Type the word dementia into the search box. Make sure that the box that says
“suggest subject terms” is ticked.
A list of all the subject terms that may be useful to your search are listed. Select as
many as are relevant then click the green “search database” button.
All the records relating to dementia have been retrieved. Clear the search box ready
for your next concept.
Next type the work “sleep” into the search box. Again make sure that the box that says
“suggest subject terms” is ticked. You are offered a list of headings that may be useful
for your search. Select the relevant terms and click search database. All the articles
about sleep have been found. Clear the search box again.
Now we need to combine the searches so that we can find the articles that are about
both dementia AND sleep.
To do this select the searches by ticking the boxes on the left of each search.
Now select “Search with AND”. Only articles that are about BOTH dementia and Sleep
will be found.
In my search 71 articles have been found. Scroll down to view results.
If you wish to, you can select more search options and narrow down your search by
date, language, age of patient, type of material etc. If you have retrieved too many
results it may be worth exploring some of these options. Click on “Show more”. You
can also add more words to your search to limit your results.
Some of the results are available to view as full text journal articles as we have
subscribed to access these journals through Cinahl. Look for the full text link.
In others you will see the SFX link. This will link to our library catalogue to see if we
have access to the journal article either online, or in the library.
This has been a short introduction to the Cinahl database. For more information see
the database guides or contact your subject librarian for help with searching.
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Aug 2010
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