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How to do a literature review for HLS 445


This guide to doing a Literature Review for clinical research concentrates on searching library databases in medicine and health sciences for research articles and systematic review articles appropriate to the student's project.

Recommended databases from the UC Library Medicine Health Sciences database collection

  • MentalMeasurements Yearbook
  • PubMed
  • PsychInfo
  • ScienceDirect 
  • Ageline

Two Search Strategies

Strategy 1:  


  • Set pre-search limits with in Publication Type: Examples: Research. Systematic Review
  • You can also set several other limit options. See Clinical Queries, Nurse author, Gender, Age, etc.
  • Examine results for relevance
  • Look for additional, alternate subjects 


Strategy 2:


  • Using the search boxes, construct searches using "research" or "systematic review" or "meta-analysis"
  • Examine result record abstracts for "elements" below
  • Look for additional subjects


Research Surveys

Darlison, L., Mckinley, D., & Moore, S. (2014). Findings from the National Mesothelioma Experience Survey. Cancer Nursing Practice, 13(3), 32-38.

Clinical Research

Kim, M., & Yoon, H. (2011).

de Almeida, S., & Shumaker, S. D. (2011). Incidence of Post-Dural Puncture Headache in Volunteers. Headache: The Journal of Head & Face Pain, 51(10), 1503-1510. 

Sparrow, D., Gottlieb, D., & Fielding, R. (2011). Increases in muscle strength and balance using a resistance training program administered via a telecommunications system in older adults. The Journals of Gerontology. Series A, Biological Sciences And Medical Sciences, 66(11), 1251-1257

Kimberley, T., Samargia, S., & Lang, C. E. (2010). Comparison of amounts and types of practice during rehabilitation for traumatic brain injury. Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development, 47(9), 851-861. 

Systematic Reviews (and Meta  Analysis)

Surkitt, L. D., Ford, J. J., Hahne, A. J., Pizzari, T., & McMeeken, J. M. (2012). Efficacy of Directional Preference Management for Low Back Pain: A Systematic Review. Physical Therapy, 92(5), 652-665.

Bieck, T., & Phillips, S. (2010). Appraising the evidence for avoiding lotions or topical agents prior to radiation therapy. Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, 14(1), 103-105

Typical elements

Sections of a Research Based Article. 

  • Methods/Objectives
  • Design
  • Measures
  • Data Collection
  • Data Analysis
  • Results
  • Conclusion

Subject Guide

Jan Malcheski
Frank E. Gannett Library
1600 Burrstone Road
Utica, NY 13502-4892
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