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Keyword searching

Using keywords, the bibliography can be searched for records relating to particular instruments, population groups, disease categories, and types of instrument.

  • To find records that relate to particular instruments, scroll down the list of standardised instrument names and abbreviations provided and click on the one you want. For example, to search for records which report the use of either the Parkinson’s Disease Questionnaire or the Parkinson’s Disease Quality of Life Questionnaire, or both, select these instruments from the first drop-down list and click the ‘OR’ radio button. To find only those records using both instruments, select the ‘AND’ button (this is the default). Click for Example 1
  • To find records relating to particular disease categories (e.g. cardiovascular, respiratory) or population groups (e.g. elderly, paediatric/adolescent), select from the list of keywords. For example, to search for records where the SF-36 has been used to measure quality of life in patients with cardiovascular diseases, select ‘SF-36’ from the first drop-down list, and ‘cardiovascular’ from the second list. Ensure the ‘AND’ button is selected. Click for Example 2
  • The third list allows you to select particular types of instrument, the two main categories being generic (applicable across a wide spectrum of conditions and population groups, e.g. the SF-36) and specific to particular diseases or population groups (e.g. the St George’s Respiratory Questionnaire, the Child Health Assessment Questionnaire). For example, to search for records which report the use of instruments developed specifically for cancer patients, select ‘cancer’ from the second drop-down list, and ‘condition-specific’ from the third list. Ensure the ‘AND’ button is selected. Click for Example 3
  • For more information on types of instrument, see the Instrument Selection – Types of Instrument pages. So-called dimension-specific instruments examine a particular aspect of quality of life, such as psychological well-being. For example, records reporting on instruments which measure depression in elderly patients can be found by selecting ‘elderly’ from the second list and ‘dimension-specific: psychological well-being’ from the third list. Click for Example 4
  • You may select from one, two, or all three of the lists. You can connect your search terms with either AND or OR (the default is AND). If you then click on ‘Search’, records (most recent first) containing the combination of search terms you have specified will be retrieved.
Free-text searching

  • Entering any search term in Box 3 will retrieve records (most recent first) which include that term in any of the following fields: title, author, keywords, abstract. For example, to find records containing the terms ‘asthma’ and ‘quality of life’, enter these terms – NB one per line – in Box 3, select ‘AND’ and click on ‘Search’. Click for Example 5
  • Use the wildcard symbol (*) as necessary. For example, child* will retrieve records containing the words ‘child’, ‘children’, ‘childhood’, etc. Similarly, *arthritis will retrieve records containing ‘arthritis’ or ‘osteoarthritis’.
  • Words or phrases to be excluded from the search can also be specified. For example, if you wish to retrieve records about heart disease, but not those relating to heart failure, enter ‘heart disease’ in the ‘include’ box, and ‘heart failure’ in the ‘exclude’ box. Click for Example 6

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