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Spotlight On: Resources for Nursing and Healthcare

by Stevie Russell on 2024-03-27T13:22:00+00:00 in Biosciences, Healthcare Management, Life Sciences, Nursing, Nutrition & Health, Physiotherapy, Spotlight on Library Resources | 0 Comments

list of databases

The provision of health sciences training has been growing rapidly at Roehampton in recent years, with our successful Nursing programmes followed by new courses in Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Advanced Clinical Practice to add to the existing portfolio of biomedical, nutrition and sport science programmes offered in the School of LIfe & Health Sciences. The provision of Library resources has kept pace with these developments, and in our latest blog post we shine the Library Spotlight on some of the specialist resources we provide for research in these subjects. For the full range, see our Library Subject Guides. The following databases are specialist indexes of literature in nursing and healthcare. All of the content is discoverable via the UR Library Search platform, but if you go directly to to the database, you will find a range of advanced searching options that enable you to carry out very detailed literature searches. Some of those features are outlined below. These resources can all be found via the Library's A-Z List of Databases and are accessible anytime, anywhere with your normal Roehampton login. Some also offer the option to create a personal account on the platform, giving you access to extra features such as saving your searches for future use, or setting up alerts to email you with details of any newly published research on your topic. Read on for more tips on how to get the most from these highly specialised research tools.

CINAHL: Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature

This database compiles details of every type of literature in these fields, with full text access to most articles. You can start with a general search on a subject such as nursing and diabetes, then use filters to narrow your search results to something more specific, perhaps journal articles published in the last five years on nursing care for men with diabetes aged over 45 in England. As with all Library resources you just need your  Roehampton login to access CINAHL from anywhere, but if you create a personal account with Ebsco (the database provider), you can save the references you find, and download them or export them to your RefWorks account. Or you can just read the articles as you find them, via the Access Now (PDF) or Access Options button.

Screenshot of CINAHL search platformScreenshot of CINAHL search filtersScreenshot of article citation


Medline and PubMed

Medline is the USA’s National Library of Medicine (NLM) journal citation database, providing millions of references to journal articles in the biomedical sciences from 1946 onwards. It is a subset of PubMed, but has the added value of the NLM’s specialist thesaurus, Medical Subject Headings (MeSH). You can use MeSH to find the correct medical terminology for your literature search, and then find all articles tagged with that term (but bear in mind the terms and spelling used will be American rather than British English!).

As with CINAHL and most academic databases, you can start with a general subject search and refine the results using various filters. For instance, if you want material on foot care for people with diabetes, you could start by searching on the general terms Nursing and Diabetes (or Diabetic), then refine by publication date for the most recent articles, or by Male or Female patients. This will find hundreds of articles, but  you can then search within those results for articles specifically relating to foot care, as in the example below:

screenshot of Medline search

As with CINAHL, you can create a personal account for added value features such as email alerts.

PubMed is another NLM database, which contains all the Medline content plus much more, including citations to articles that have not yet been published (such as pre-print or author manuscript versions), and content from books available on the NCBI Bookshelf.

PubMed Central is an open access archive launched in 2000 for full-text biomedical and life sciences journal articles. The content is not as comprehensive as the Medline and PubMed services that Roehampton subscribes to, but it is free for all to access.

For a more detailed description of these medical databases, see the NLM web pages.   


Screenshot of Ovid search interface

The Ovid suite of databases from Wolters Kluwer includes Ovid Emcare  (medical) and Ovid Nursing, which between them cover a wealth of healthcare-related journal and book content dating from 1946 to the present day. You can also access the Visible Body anatomy app via this platform. Searching options on Ovid are similar to the databases shown above; first select which collection you want to search, or all of them, then type in a general search topic or question. You can narrow your focus by setting limits and filters such as male/female, language, publication date, etc. Like Medline, Ovid has an inbuilt thesaurus you can use to check your search terms, and Advanced or Multi-Field search options for combining terms into more complex search strings. So, for instance, you can search for articles which have been indexed with Diabetes as a subject heading but also have specific words in the title. The example below shows a Multi-field search for articles on diabetes that also mention chocolate in the title, and limited to English language, published in the last five years, and women only:

Screenshot of Ovid search interface

Ovid will find articles matching your terms, which you can browse and access straight away if there is a Roehampton logo next to it, and/or save for later by selecting and exporting, saving or emailing the references. 

Screenshot of Ovid reference list 

So if you have any assignments or research interests in the fields of nursing, medicine or allied health, you have plenty of options for finding relevant literature using these specialist sources. See our Online Study Toolkit for more guidance on searching for academic literature, including step by step guides and video tutorials. 


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