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Clinical Practice Guidelines: Searching for journal articles

Searching for journal articles

Guidelines may also be disseminated through publication in a scholarly journal. The journal indexes CINAHL and Medline (Rutgers-restricted Access) as well as PubMed include practice guidelines as a publication type which will make your search highly accurate. "Publication Type" is an option in the Limit function.

1. CINAHL and Medline

When you use CINAHL or Medline, enter your search terms for the problem, diagnosis or test, and scroll down to the Limit section of the search screen. At Publication Type, select "practice guidelines" from the pull-down menu. Although the indexes also include "practice guidelines" as a subject heading, the heading is used for articles discussing the guideline as a format, i.e., its value, use, form and creation. Using the phrase as a subject heading will NOT help you identify appropriate articles containing guidelines.

2. PubMed

PubMed allows you to set limits before you enter your search. Click on Limits and then select "Practive Guidelines" from the Publication Type pull down menu. Any limits you set will apply to all subsequent searches in the session until you go to Limits and make some changes.

PubMed includes an additional feature to aid in locating guidelines. When you open the database, look at the sidebar and select Clinical Queries under PubMed Services. When you scroll down the page, you will see a search box under the heading, Find Systematic Review. PubMed considers guidelines to be a type of systematic review. Enter the disease or problem as well as

AND systematic[sb] AND "practice guideline"[pt].

Results will be limited to practice guidelines only

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