Answered By: Linda Neyer
Last Updated: Feb 28, 2020     Views: 27

Nursing students should c use PubMed, the 'free' database of the National Library of Medicine, to find nursing research studies. Use the link on our Databases' pages, which has our PubMed identifier: This gives access to our subscriptions when you click on the Full Text icon. Look at the PubMed Tutorial for Nurses for help in searching. 

The library also subscribes to CINHAL which is an excellent database for nursing research.  CINHAL will allow you to limit your search to Nursing Journals as we all as limit to articles with nurses as the author.

You can find both of these databases and more on the Nursing research guide.

Follow good rules of searching, for example, if your topic is the effectiveness of yoga on arthritis, type your search as 'yoga arthritis' or 'yoga and arthritis' (same results). Click on the article title to view the abstract (description) and read the methods described before you click on Full Text to view the complete article.

When you're looking for primary sources, you are looking for a description of a method (treatment or intervention) done to or with a group of people. For example, the article "Efficacy of a biomechanically-based yoga exercise program in knee osteoarthritis: A randomized controlled trial" tells you in the title that it is a 'randomized controlled trial' (research study) and the 'Participants' and 'Interventions' sections describe what was done to whom; this is an example of primary research.

Compare that to this article, "Integrative effect of yoga practice in patients with knee arthritis: A PRISMA-compliant meta-analysis." The title says it's a 'meta-analysis.' As you can infer from the following, this is a study of studies -- a type of secondary research:

METHODS: A computerized search of PubMed and Embase was performed to identify relevant studies. The outcome measures were pain, stiffness, and physical function. Two investigators identified eligible studies and extracted data independently. The quality of citations was measured using Jadad score. Standardized mean differences (SMDs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated for pain, musculoskeletal impairment, quality of life, general wellbeing, and mental wellbeing.
RESULTS: A total of 13 clinical trials involving 1557 patients with knee osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis were included in final meta-analysis...

This type of study is actually a higher level of evidence since it pools the evidence from multiple studies, but it is not allowable for an assignment based on primary research.

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