Before you sit down at the computer to start your CINAHL search, have a good think about your topic, and the search process. Preparing thoroughly and noting down what you are going to do at this point means you have a robust framework for your search. Reflecting on what you are doing at each step is also a good way of keeping in touch with what you want to achieve.
- What search terms should I use to retrieve the most useful information?
- Are these terms described in other ways? (synonyms)
- Are these terms spelt in different ways? Think British vs American English.
- How old should my material be?
- Am I interested in a particular age-group in terms of the research subjects? What about specific genders?
- Do I limit to only research articles? Only peer reviewed articles?
- Is there a particular publication type that will be most helpful to me? Systematic reviews? Quantitative research? Case studies?
- How should I keep track of my search process? A narrative/learning journal? Printouts? Saving my search(es)?
Once you're happy with what you want to do, then you can make a start.
NOTE: For this libguide, our search will be looking at the risk factors of falls in elderly hospital inpatients.