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CD-824 Diagnostic Methods and Clinical Processes in Reading and Writing Disorders

Dyslexia Interventions Search Tutorial

This is a quick tutorial using each of the major databases to find research articles on interventions for dyslexia. When you're ready to search yourself, use the databases links below. If you want a more in depth explanation of subject headings, go to the box below.

Where to Find Research Articles

The following databases and search engines are all excellent tools with which to look for research articles. A video tutorial for using these tools to find CSD research is above.

Where to Find Evidence on the Web

More web resources recommended by Dr. Christodoulou for finding evidence.

Searching Using Subject Headings

All databases have a list of controlled vocabulary words that seek to apply a single term to a single concept. When you use subject headings, you do not have to brainstorm all of the possible synonyms for your search term, because the database does that for you. When you enter a serach term, CINAHL and Ovid are set up to automatically suggest subject headings. For instance if you search speech sound disorders, CINAHL will show you a list of subject headings, of which articulation disorders, organic is the first result. Try searching with subject headings and see how your results differ from searching with just keywords.

Still unsure about subject headings? Watch this video for another explanation.

Modifying an Unsuccessful Search

If you aren't happy with the list of articles your search brings back, here are some ways you might think about changing your search.

Screaming Person Logo

1. Too many articles / Articles aren't on topic

  • Make your topic more specific. Add words to describe the
    • population
    • setting
    • treatment or intervention
    • outcome
  • Make your terms more specific. For example
    • "women" becomes "women over 50"
    • "analgesic" becomes "opioid"
    • "recovery" becomes "length of stay"

2. Too few articles

  • Make your topic less specific
    • focus on the core ideas (remove unnecessary details)
    • choose less specific terms ("exercise therapy" becomes "exercise")
  • Look for different search words 
    • synonyms - brainstorm synonyms (e.g. "length of stay" = "hospital stay") or different forms of a word (e.g. therapy, therapies, therapeutic)
    • scan abstracts and subject headings to find out which words authors and databases are using to describe your topic.

Photo by Anant Nath Sharma, used with permission under a Creative Commons license