Follow these steps to perform a subject heading search in CINAHL:
Go to CINAHL and click on the link that says “CINAHL Subject Headings” contained within the banner along the top edge of the database site. The banner is pictured below (Do not attempt to click on the picture.)
This is the screen you will see next. You will enter the keyword(s) into the search bar and click the browse button. For this example, type 2 diabetes is entered.
You will now see a list of terms. If you are unsure which term is the correct one to select, you can click on the scope note to view a description. In this example, I have clicked the box to the left of Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2. Next, click the green search database button located to the right.
You will see that CINAHL has added the subject heading code into the search bar. Your search results are listed below the search boxes. This search retrieved 64,389 results.
Repeat this process for each of your initial keywords identified in your PICO. Make sure you clear out your search box before running a new search! The search results can be viewed as before by clicking on the search history link located just below the last search box.
Here are the search results thus far for our PICO example. Notice each search is assigned a Search ID# located next to each search. Each search has its own Search ID#. Click the next tab to learn how to combine these individual searches into one to retrieve the most results.