Skip to main content

Research and Projects

Locating qualitative studies in dementia on MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, and PsycINFO: A comparison of search strategies

Theme: ARC - Methods for Research & Improvement
Status: Complete

Background

Qualitative research in dementia helps us to understand the experiences of people with dementia and their carers. Search strategies using key terms and subjects headings for qualitative research can help us find these types of studies more easily on medical databases. In this study we looked at four published database search strategies for finding qualitative research and compared them across four main databases and with each other.

Objectives

To find out which database contained the most qualitative studies on dementia and compare how different search strategies performed across four different databases.

Key findings

PsycINFO and CINAHL held the most qualitative studies out of the four databases studied and both held unique records. Subjects heading in CINAHL were particularly useful and returned 96% of studies sought. Broad-based simple search strategies tended to perform better than long complex strategies.

Project outputs

Oral presentation at the Cochrane Colloquium in Vienna in 2015.

Rogers M, Bethel A, Abbott R. Locating qualitative studies in dementia on MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, and PsycINFO: A comparison of search strategies. Research synthesis methods. 2018;9(4):579-86.

Further information