The main focus of the Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL Plus) is nursing, along with biomedicine, health sciences librarianship, alternative/complementary medicine, consumer health and 17 allied health disciplines. In total, the EBSCO-hosted database contains nearly 7.6 million records, indexed from over 5,500 journals dating back to the 1930s. The documentation on this page references the EBSCOhost version of this database.
Keywords can be generated by:
You can use fields to specify where the database looks for the search term. In CINAHL Plus, first type the field and then the search term.
A comprehensive and systematic search of CINAHL Plus includes both controlled vocabulary and keyword terms (i.e. free text, natural language, and synonyms).
Boolean operators are used to combine search terms. In CINAHL Plus, you can use the operators AND, OR, and NOT.
Boolean operators MUST be used as upper case (AND, OR, NOT).
OR—use OR between similar keywords, like synonyms, acronyms, and variations in spelling within the same idea or concept.
AND—use AND to link ideas and concepts where you want to see both ideas or concepts in your search results.
NOT—used to exclude specific keywords from the search, however, you will want to use NOT with caution because you may end up missing something important.
Go to the “Advanced Search” page to combine searches (in CINAHL Plus this is typically the default homepage). Your search history will be located above your results during your search session, and can be viewed by clicking the “Search History” beneath the search boxes.
If you would like to practice comprehensive searching in CINAHL Plus, use the link below to access CINAHL Plus, and the three worksheets to achieve steps within the search process.