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National Information Center on Health Services Research and Health Care Technology (NICHSR)

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Introduction to Health Services Research : A Self-Study Course

Module 4: Search the Literature of HSR: Databases (Page 6 of 29)
Section 1: Health Services Research Databases and Information Resources

Health Services Filters and Search by HSR Study Category

Filters and Study Category Overview

This section introduces you to the health services filters that you can use when you are searching Medline for articles relevant to specific aspects of health services research. As you will learn in Module 6: Basic Components of a Study different study methods are used in health services research.

The Search by HSR Study Category section below offers a form that you can use to retrieve studies.

Health Services Filters

NICHSR staff have set up an easy-to-use search filter for retrieving articles on healthcare quality and costs. It is shown in the image below.

Snapshot of the PubMed HSR filters. This image opens in a new window. Close the window to return to this page.

By logging into Pubmed.gov you can group search results by areas of interest - in this case health services research. The PubMed Health Services Research (HSR) Queries provides specialized searches on healthcare quality and costs.

To search by HSR filter selections:

  1. Pull up the PubMed site <http://www.pubmed.gov>

  2. Look on the left margin for the Special Queries link and select it.
  3. Select Health Services Research (HSR) Queries.
  4. Enter your search in the Search box.
  5. Select one radio button from the Category box and one from the Scope box.

Snapshot of HSR costs and healthcare quality filters. This image opens in a new window. Close the window to return to this page.

Search by HSR Study Category

As you can see in the image above, the filters for Health Services Research Queries include:

  • Appropriateness
  • Process assessment
  • Outcomes assessment
  • Costs
  • Economics
  • Qualitative research

Searches can be broad or very narrow depending on your information needs. Select Broad, sensitive search to obtain a large number of citations and Narrow, specific search to get a few, but very targeted citations.

Note: You can select only one filter for your search.

This page can be a starting page or, as discussed above, you can log into your My NCBI account and do the search there.

Exercise

  1. Try the "Search by HSR Study Category" search engine provided to you on several topics of interest. Try both narrow and broad searches. Did you get the results you were expecting? Why or why not?
  2. Try a search on a technology question. Use both the narrow and broad search radio buttons. Did you turn up usable citations?
  3. Now try a search on a journal title of your choice ANDing it with selected filters.

Discussion Questions

  1. What are the advantages of filters for you and health services researchers? Are there any disadvantages to using health services research filters? Discuss.
  2. Can you think of any other filters that might be useful for your work with/in health services research?
  3. What is the difference between costs and economics? Is knowing the difference important to successful retrieval of appropriate articles?
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