For this session, we will be working with the following research question:
Does introducing Nordic hamstring exercises reduce hamstring injuries among athletes when compared to regular training programs?
Before you start searching, it is helpful to us the PICO(T) or PS tool to help identify the key aspects of your question. Consider as well if there are any possible synonyms/related terms for each aspect of your question.
Nordic hamstring exercises
|Comparison (C)||Regular training program|
Reduce rate of hamstring injuries
Source: Van Dyk, N., Behan, F. P., & Whiteley, R. (2019). Including the Nordic hamstring exercise in injury prevention programmes halves the rate of hamstring injuries: a systematic review and meta-analysis of 8459 athletes. British Journal Of Sports Medicine. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2018-100045
Search different spellings and plural/singular
An asterisk (*) or truncation symbols means I don't care how it ends e.g. behav*
Use quotation marks " " to search for a particular phrase e.g. "cognitive dissonance"
Proximity searching lets you search for two words near each other e.g. ankle N2 sprain* will look for those words within two words of each other in any order
Avoid typing sentences into the search box. Always use AND or OR between different ideas:
Subject headings vs keywords
Natural language words that describe your topic
Pro: Easy to combine terms
Pro: Can search for them anywhere in the source
Con: Can be difficult to narrow results
Con: Might retrieve irrelevant results
Pre-defined vocabulary that describes your topic
Pro: Can quickly rule out irrelevant sources
Pro: Often retrieves more accurate results
Con: Harder to combine terms (need to know which terms exist)
You can improve your search results by combining the keywords you brainstorm with the subject headings each database uses to categorize articles. These headings or tags are added to articles to make them easier to find and group.
In PsycINFO, the subject headings are called APA Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms
In Medline/PubMed, the subject headings are called MESH
In CINAHL, the subject headings are called CINAHL headings
In SportDiscus, the subject headings can be found in the Thesaurus.
Strategy 1: Carefully review the references of relevant articles you've found
Rubio, C., Osca, A., Recio, P., Urien, B., & Peiró, J. M. (2015). Work-family conflict, self-efficacy, and emotional exhaustion: A test of longitudinal effects. Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 31(3), 147–154. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rpto.2015.06.004
Strategy 2: Use Google Scholar or Scopus to find out who cited the articles you've found
One of the most useful features of Google Scholar is the ability to search for articles that have cited a particular work. It is a great way to see where the scholarly conversation has gone since an article was released.
For a thorough search, it is important to combine a database's subject headings with possible keywords. There can be a delay in adding subject headings to new articles, and this ensures they are not missed in your results. In systematic reviews, we often search each term separately before combined them with OR (between synonyms/related terms) and AND (to combine different concepts). Below is an example of a line by line search using Medline - to construct a search this way, click on "search history" in Medline, Sport Discus, or CINAHL.
Grey literature includes government documents, theses and dissertations, policies, clinical practice guidelines, and more, and can be difficult to find because it is not usually listed in databases like CINAHL and Medline.
Here are some sources of grey literature that might be useful for future assignments: