Friday, March 11, 2005

Finding the right Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)

If you’re having trouble finding the right Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) try this.

First, as you’re looking through titles of your search results, pick the title that seems the closest match to what you’re looking for. Then, click on the ‘complete reference’ link.

Scroll down through the record until you come to the ‘MeSH Subject Headings’ field. These are the terms that have been used to describe the subject content of the article. Examine the list for possible terms that you might not have thought of – or terms that really get at the concepts that are part of your research or clinical question. Make notes on all the possibilities.

Then go back to the ‘Main Search Page’ and type in the new terms you’ve just discovered.

Combine these new sets appropriately with your other sets. Use ‘AND’ to make that happen. Here’s an example of using an ‘AND’:

1. pregnancy in adolescence (4472 in this set)
2. exp obesity (59430 in this set)
3. 1 and 2 (22 - intersection of sets 1 and 2)

Give it a try!


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