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The University of Tampa Macdonald-Kelce Library

PAM Physician Assistant Medicine: Searching

Medical Subject Headings MeSH

Using the appropriate medical term may give you better search results.  To learn about Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) developed by the National Library of Medicine click here.

MeSH lookup


Truncation  is a search method used in databases in which a word ending is replaced by a symbol. Different databases may use different symbols such as the asterisk (*), a question mark (?) or a dollar sign ($).  Please check the database you are using to determine which symbol you should use.

         Psycholog*  - returns following the words  Psychology or Psychologist  or psychological

Phrases - quotation marks can be your best friend  "Athlete's foot"  without " " you could get might get articles about  athlete's shoes and their effect on the foot.


PICO SEARCHES IN CINAHL   Purdue does an excellent job in showing PICO search strategy and uses boolean and truncation to do  the search in CINAHL.

PubMed - a series of short views done by NCBI about searching PubMed.


  boolean "AND" diagram    AND

Use AND to narrow a search and retrieve records containing all of the words it separates, e.g. adolescents AND children  will only find records containing both these words.


 boolean "OR" diagram     OR


Use OR to broaden a search and retrieve records containing any of the words it separates, e.g.adolescents OR children  will find records containing adolescents only, children only, or both words.

 boolean "NOT" diagram   NOT

Use NOT to narrow a search and retrieve records that do not contain the term following it, e.g. adolescents NOT children will find records that contain adolescents, but will not contain the word children.

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