In this module you will learn how to find relevant subject headings for our first, or P, element.
Remember, for each PICO element we will perform a Subject Heading and a Keyword search. Each type of search has different advantages that will make our search more relevant.
Let's begin with the Subject Heading.
Tip: Beginning a search design with a subject heading is good practice as the information in the Scope Note and Tree will help create the subsequent keyword search
For this guide we will consider the research question: "What research has been done on the use of games such as Wii, Kinect and others for improving balance in children and teenagers who have a traumatic brain injury including concussion."
Start building your search using the first PICO element, the concept for Problem/Population. For this part of the exercise we will use the search term: brain injury
Before deciding on which subject heading is the most relevant, we need to read the Scope Note
Note: Our search with the number of results is displayed in the Search History as Set 1. The words in the search history have a forward slash / (e.g. brain injuries, traumatic/). This symbol indicates that they were used as a subject heading.
The Explode tool selects the selected heading as well as any narrower terms that are indented below it. This is a useful shortcut, for example, Explode Canada will find papers that are tagged with the heading of Canada as well as any that are tagged with the Provinces. As in some trees the indented terms are not relevant to the research question, an alternative to Explode is to be selective and choose ones that are relevant.
In our example, selecting Explode for Brain injuries will include all the narrower terms indented below it in the list. Many are irrelevant to our topic and so we chose to select only the most appropriate.Focus
The Focus tool will only search for those articles where the topic is the main point of the paper. Where a subject heading has been designated as the main point (or focus) of the paper, it is identifiable by an * in the search history and MeSH field.
As we will be constraining our search with other terms from the PICO, we will keep the search broad and not use Focus for Brain injuries
Following the steps outlined above, find the most appropriate subject heading (MeSH) for your first concept.TIPS: