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Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

LIBRARY WORKSHOP: Finding the evidence for Small Group Tutorials and other assignments

To help us prepare for the Library Workshop on October 12th, please use this Google Doc to tell us what you would like to learn during the class.


The Cumulated Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL) is a bibliographic database containing references to research papers and book chapters relevant to nursing and other health professions such as occupational therapy, physical therapy, nutrition, speech sciences and audiology. Similar to Medline it has a more psychosocial focus. It is the premier database for occupational therapy as it covers all the major journals in this field and uses highly relevant subject headings.

We have created a guide that will introduce you to the CINAHL database and its tools and techniques.  By following the guided steps you will learn efficient and effective methods for finding relevant information quickly.  It will also prepare you for the workshop.

Before the class on October 12th, please review the following 5 modules (estimated time 20-30 minutes):

  • Introduction - How to use this guide
  • Module 1 The research question
  • Module 2 Subject heading search
  • Module 3 Keyword search
  • Module 4 Search history and combining searches. 
Access the guide via this link CINAHL Guided Exercise


After completing the modules in the CINAHL Guided Exercise, consider using these tips:

Finding information about theoretical models:

  • Search Subject heading MH Models, Theoretical and combine this with the key word occupational therap* using AND
  • Search specific models by both acronym and name: CMOP OR Canadian Model of Occupation

Using an alternative framework to PICO,

  • PEO or Person Environment Occupation

Some useful subject headings (MH) for papers about: 

  • For papers on Occupation or meaning use MH Occupation(Human). See the Scope note:"engagement of activities that give meaning to life"
  • For Personal narratives: use MH Narratives OR MH Life Experience
  • For experience: use MH Attitude to illness OR MH attitude to health

Search for specific instruments or measurements (e.g. pain assessment)

  • Use the Instrumentation field  (see Tutorial)