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Finding Test Instruments: CINAHL

A guide on finding surveys, questionnaires, and research instruments.

Searching CINAHL

Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature. 

This EbscoHost Database holds over 3,000 journals for nursing & allied health.  It includes Evidence-Based Care Sheets, books, nursing dissertations, conference proceedings, standards of practice & software.  (Blazer ID & password required off campus.)

Overall, searching for articles and studies using a particular test is very easy in CINAHL.  You can search by TEST NAME, TYPE and SUBJECT.   Research Instruments can be searched by keywords, too; here are some examples: Research Instruments, Research Measurement, Questionnaire, Survey, Screening, Survey Research, Evaluation, Scale.

Other Search Tips: 

  1. CINAHL is receptive to truncated searching, so try an asterisk [*] to take care of plurals and conjugations.  For example: test* will search for test, tests, and testing.  You will receive more results when using the *.  You can easily narrow your results by using the left-side menu. 
  2. Try using CINAHL INDEXES when you are trying to find tests.  The Indexes are located under the "More" option.   
  3. Tests and conditions are often spelled in various ways, and sometimes contain punctuation.  Try your searches using all spellings.  For example: PHQ-9, PHQ9, PHQ 9, Patient Health Questionnaire.  A simplified or truncated search is also an option:  PHQ, PHQ*, as is PHQ-9 OR PHQ9.
  4. If the Research Instrument is not named in the record under "Instrumentation" and not named in the abstract, look for it listed under the Major and Minor Subject headings.
  5. If you are using a lot of punctuation (quotation marks, parentheses, brackets) and getting no results, try simplifying your search by eliminating the punctuation.
  6. Using "AND" is not necessary, but it may help you organize your thoughts.  To understand more about Boolean Phrasing, watch this VIDEO.
  7. Use CINAHL HEADINGS to help you learn associated keywords.
  8. If you haven't found what you're looking for in 20 minutes, Ask a Librarian!  (You can also use the chat box below.)  

See Also: the LHL CINAHL Guide


Chat with a Librarian


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Visual Aid: Using CINAHL Indexes

To enlarge, click on the image.

Visual Aid: Using CIANHL Headings

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