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Occupational Therapy - Dallas

Occupational therapy research guide for TWU Dallas students, faculty and staff.


CINAHL (Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health) is an Ebsco host database containing 1,400+ Full- text and 5,400+ indexed journals. It features peer-reviewed articles, dissertations, and  EBP Care Sheets.

To access CINAHL :

  • Go to the TWU library home page:
  • Select the databases tab
  • Type the name of the database you wish in the search box
  • Or search for it via the A-Z List

Cinahl: How to...

For more information about the relative value of a keyword search go to Search Tips and Tricks.

Conducting a keyword search

One of the best features of CINAHL is how intuitive and easy to use it is. The opening screen consists of three sections:

Section 1: Search fields

Search boxes for terms to be entered. Notice that on the left you can add terms together using Boolean operators while on the right you can select what fields you wish to search. For more on field searches and Boolean operators go to Search Tips and Tricks.

Section 2. Search options

  • Boolean / phrase = Allows boolean searching and Phrase searches, see Search Tips and Tricks for more details 
  • Find all my search terms = Auto AND all search terms entered
  • Find any of my search terms = Auto OR all search terms entered
  • Smart text finding = Copy and paste / write a sentence or a paragraph into the search field for results. Smart text will analyze the text  for relevant keywords and conduct a search

Section 3. Limiters

The limiter options are used to limit results by specific criteria, e.g. click on full text if you want to see only those results that have full text.

However, doing this means you are missing on all those entries that are citations only--some of which might lead to your perfect article and can be ordered (full text) free using our ILL service. Choose your limiters thoughtfully.

For more information about the relative value of a subject heading search go to Search Tips and Tricks.

To conduct a Subject Heading search:


Go to the subject headings tab.


Screen 2. 


Enter one search term only (this type of search will be built one term at a time)


  • Term Begins With = displays the terms in alphabetical order:
  • Term Contains = The term searched for appears first followed by terms displayed in alphabetical order:
  • Relevancy Ranked = The exact match for the term appears first followed by terms displayed in order of relevance.


Screen 3.

  • A list of related terms will be displayed.
  • Inspect and select the most appropriate choice.
  • When you select your subject heading another list of suggested subheadings will appear.
  • Check the boxes of any desired subheadings if you want to be more specific in your search 
  • Terms are added to the Search Term Builder box on the right of your screen, underneath the "search database" icon.

Using  the Explode and Major features

When you Explode a term, CIANHL looks at every subject heading and narrower subject terms that are indexed to the original term. 

Major Concept finds only records for which the subject heading is a major point of the article. 


To add more terms to your search go to the bottom of the screen and select Browse Additional Terms

When the search is fully built and you are ready, Click Search Database to execute the search.





From the results list, click on the article you wish to find similar articles for.

On the left hand side, select "find similar articles.


Cinahl will use its smart text algorithm to analyze the text and return results based on that text.

Cinahl offers evidence -based care sheets--concise summaries of many conditions and their treatment. To search for these exclusively, click on the "Evidence -Based Care Sheet" tab at the top of the screen.

The screen you are taken to will allow you to search either by entering in a search term or scrolling through the offerings arranged in alphabetical order.

Your care sheet will look something like this...

If you selected the "Full-text "option on the limiters then all the produced articles should have accompanying full text.  

Options 1 & 2, when clicked, will both produce the full text for the article.

If you did not select the "Full-text" option in the limiters then you may have some citation results that do not have the accompanying full text. In this case, where there is no full text available directly from  CINAHL you should select the "Find Full-Text" option (option 3). This will take you to a TWU screen.

Here you can see that TWU has the full text for the desired article on either MAS complete or MasterFILE Complete. Simply click on either of these options to be taken to the full text.

In the advent that TWU does not the full text then you will have to submit an article delivery request. The link for this is provided on the bottom of the page.


Select the articles you wish to save to Refworks by clicking on the folder icon to the right of the citation (see figure 1).

The articles you have select will be stored in a folder (see figure 2). Click on this folder when you have all the articles you wish to select.


Once in the stored folder (see below), reselect the articles you want to export to Refworks and click the export icon to the right.

On the following screen, select "direct export to Refworks".

If you haven't already, you will be asked to log into Refworks and your article export will proceed automatically at this point.