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DNH-720 Population Health

Database Tutorials

Learn how to use our most popular databases with these guides.

Healthy People 2020 Expert Searches

Looking for articles to match a specific Healthy People 2020 Objective?

Use the Partners in Health structured evidence queries. Choose your topic from the first list, then click on the PubMed Search icon next to the objective of your choice. It will bring you to a pre-made PubMed search of articles that support the objective.

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Where to Find Evidence

The following databases and search engines are all excellent tools with which to look for research articles. Tutorials for using some of these tools are available on other tabs.

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.

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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