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Respiratory Care Research

This course guide was created to assist students in research on respiratory care issues.

When to Use PubMed

Use PubMed: 

  • If you are unable to access subscription databases.
  • For easy keyword searching (automatically maps to MeSH).
  • For clinical queries.
  • For genetics topics.
  • To be offered related citations and links to systematic reviews citing a study.
  • To find new articles that are "in process." PubMed includes "future MEDLINE" articles that have not yet been fully indexed (assigned detailed MeSH / Medical Subject Headings). 
  • When you are doing research in life science journals. 

What is PubMed?

PubMed, the online version of Index Medicus, is produced by the US National Library of Medicine (NLM).There is no subscription for the PubMed database; it is freely accessible, but it is a literature citation database rather than a full-text provider.  It contains citation information (title, authors, journal, and publication date) and abstracts of articles published in biomedical and scientific journals. PubMed does not contain full-text articles, but in some cases, you can link to full text directly from PubMed. If you have searched PubMed (or accessed PubMed through a web link) and located a citation of interest, check for full-text icons in the upper right corner of the display above the citation. Some full-text articles may be free, for example those archived in the PubMed Central® (PMC) database.

What's the Difference Between PubMed & Medline? 

PubMed vs. MEDLINE

  • Both databases search a similar group of medical literature (mostly medical journals) compiled by the National Library of Medicine (NLM).  PubMed includes "future MEDLINE" articles that have not yet been fully indexed (assigned detailed MeSH / Medical Subject Headings), as well as a small amount of additional content (from life sciences journals and selected medical books).
  • All MEDLINE content is from a medical journals and all content includes detailed indexing according to carefully controlled and applied Medical Subject Headings (MeSH), insuring all research on a specific content is accessible under standardized terms.

PubMed Search Strategies: Qualitative

Tips for Locating Qualitative Research in PubMed

  • Use appropriate Medical Subject Heading (MeSH) terms in your search, such as:
    • Qualitative Research [research that derives data from observation, interviews, or verbal interactions and focuses on the meanings and interpretations of the participants. Year introduced 2003]
    • Interviews as Topic [conversations with an individual or individuals held in order to obtain information about their background and other personal biographical data, their attitudes and opinions, etc. It includes school admission or job interviews. Year introduced: 2008 (1980)]
    • Focus Groups [a method of data collection and a qualitative research tool in which a small group of individuals are brought together and allowed to interact in a discussion of their opinions about topics, issues, or questions. Year introduced: 1993]
    • Grounded Theory [The generation of theories from analysis of empirical data. Year introduced 2015]
    • Nursing Methodology Research [research carried out by nurses concerning techniques and methods to implement projects and to document information, including methods of interviewing patients, collecting data, and forming inferences. The concept includes exploration of methodological issues such as human subjectivity and human experience. Year introduced: 1991(1989)]
    • Anecdotes as Topic [brief accounts or narratives of an incident or event. Year introduced: 2008(1963)]
    • Narration [the act, process, or an instance of narrating, i.e., telling a story. In the context of MEDICINE or ETHICS, narration includes relating the particular and the personal in the life story of an individual. Year introduced: 2003]
    • Video Recording [the storing or preserving of video signals for television to be played back later via a transmitter or receiver. Recordings may be made on magnetic tape or discs (VIDEODISC RECORDING). Year introduced: 1984]
    • Tape Recording [recording of information on magnetic or punched paper tape. Year introduced: 1967(1964)]
    • Personal Narratives as Topic [works about accounts of individual experience in relation to a particular field or of participation in related activities. Year introduced: 2013]
    • Observational Study as Topic [A clinical study in which participants may receive diagnostic, therapeutic, or other types of interventions, but the investigator does not assign participants to specific interventions (as in an interventional study). Year introduced: 2014]

NOTE: Inconsistent indexing in PubMed. For example, grounded theory articles are not always indexed for qualitative research. Need to TextWord search for additional terms: “grounded theory”, “action research”, ethnograph* etc.

Additional MeSH terms that may be applicable to your topic include: Attitude of Health PersonnelAttitude to DeathAttitude to Health; or Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice.

  • Limit your search to specific Publication Types, such as:
    • Interview [work consisting of a conversation with an individual regarding his or her background and other personal and professional details, opinions on specific subjects posed by the interviewer, etc. Year introduced: 2008(1993)]
    • Diaries [works consisting of records, usually private, of writers' experiences, observations, feelings, attitudes, etc. They may also be works marked in calendar order in which to note appointments and the like. (From Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 2d ed) Year introduced: 2008(1997)]
    • Anecdotes [works consisting of brief accounts or narratives of incidents or events. Year introduced: 2008(1999)]
    • Personal Narratives [works consisting of accounts of individual experience in relation to a particular field or of participation in related activities. Year introduced: 2013]
    • Observational Study [A clinical study in which participants may receive diagnostic, therapeutic, or other types of interventions, but the investigator does not assign participants to specific interventions (as in an interventional study).Year introduced: 2014]
  • Use Text Words to find articles missed by MeSH terms. When running queries in PubMed you not only search for keywords [MeSH], but also for free text terms. This is important for a number of reasons.
    • You will find articles that have not yet been indexed in PubMed: MeSH terms have not yet been assigned to them.
    • It is not possible to cover all concepts with a single MeSH term.
    • A MeSH term may not have been assigned to articles, despite the fact that they are related to the topic.

In your query, use the [tiab] field code after each free text term. This will restrict your query to search in the title or abstract of the articles. These are the fields in an article citation that you will use when you select relevant articles. By using both MeSH and tiab terms, you will increase the likelihood of finding all relevant articles. Try to think of as many free text terms as possible. This will be beneficial for your search results, producing more relevant articles.

  • Use a Quality Research Filter:
    • PubMed Health Services Research (HSR) Queries
      • Select Topic - Specific Queries from the PubMed home page and then Health Services Research Queries.
      • This page provides a filter for specialized PubMed searches on healthcare quality and costs.
      • Enter your search topic and select Qualitative Research under Category
    • Qualitative Research search filter example [copy and paste the following modified filter into PubMed and combine your subject terms with this search filter]

(((“semi-structured”[TIAB] OR semistructured[TIAB] OR unstructured[TIAB] OR informal[TIAB] OR “in-depth”[TIAB] OR indepth[TIAB] OR “face-to-face”[TIAB] OR structured[TIAB] OR guide[TIAB] OR guides[TIAB]) AND (interview*[TIAB] OR discussion*[TIAB] OR questionnaire*[TIAB])) OR (“focus group”[TIAB] OR “focus groups”[TIAB] OR qualitative[TIAB] OR ethnograph*[TIAB] OR fieldwork[TIAB] OR “field work”[TIAB] OR “key informant”[TIAB])) OR “interviews as topic”[Mesh] OR “focus groups”[Mesh] OR narration[Mesh] OR qualitative research[Mesh] OR "personal narratives as topic"[Mesh] OR (theme[TIAB] OR thematic[TIAB]) OR "ethnological research"[TIAB] OR phenomenol*[TIAB] OR "grounded theory"[TIAB] OR "grounded study"[TIAB] OR "grounded studies"[TIAB] OR "grounded research"[TIAB] OR "grounded analysis"[TIAB] OR "grounded analyses"[TIAB] OR "life story"[TIAB] OR "life stories"[TIAB] OR emic[TIAB] OR etic[TIAB] OR hermeneutics[TIAB] OR heuristic*[TIAB] OR semiotic[TIAB] OR "data saturation"[TIAB] OR "participant observation"[TIAB] OR "action research"[TIAB] OR "cooperative inquiry"[TIAB] OR "co-operative inquiry"[TIAB] OR "field study"[TIAB] OR "field studies"[TIAB] OR "field research"[TIAB] OR "theoretical sample"[TIAB] OR "theoretical samples"[TIAB] OR "theoretical sampling"[TIAB] OR "purposive sampling"[TIAB] OR  "purposive sample"[TIAB] OR "purposive samples"[TIAB]  OR "lived experience"[TIAB] OR "lived experiences"[TIAB] OR "purposive sampling"[TIAB]  OR "content analysis"[TIAB] OR discourse[TIAB] OR "narrative analysis"[TIAB] OR heidegger*[TIAB] OR colaizzi[TIAB] OR spiegelberg[TIAB] OR "van manen*"[TIAB] OR "van kaam"[TIAB] OR "merleau ponty"[TIAB] OR husserl*[TIAB] OR Foucault[TIAB] or Corbin[TIAB] OR Strauss[TIAB] OR Glaser[TIAB]

More Research Filters

PubMed Search Strategies--Quantitative

Tips for Locating Quantitative Research in PubMed

Finding Quantitative studies is a bit different than finding Qualitative studies.  You must run your search and then apply limits by clicking on the Customize link under Article Types. There are many different types of quantitative studies.  You can choose as many as you want - or as few. They are listed below.  After you choose the types you want, click Show.  Then the types show up in the Article Type field and you can click on them to filter out the types you want.