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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 12 of 29)
Section 1: Health Services Research Databases and Information Resources

HSTAT: Health Services Technology Assessment Texts, continued...

Snapshot of searching using AND to search for content in the NIH Consensus Development Program — Consensus Development Conference Reports.

Searching HSTAT Documents

  • Users may browse the table of contents. (Note: In the Web version, you would click on the link that, in the image below, says 36 items).
  • Users may search using words or phrases. After entering a query, the query results will be displayed in rank order.

Snapshot of a search of all books using a phrase in quotes.

The search strategy is converted to "health literacy" AND hstat[book] .

 

This snapshot indicates that 36 items can be found as a result of the health literacy search.

In this search the term "health literacy" turns up numerous references in the HSTAT database.

 

When searching by words or phrases, the following rules apply:

  • A string of words entered will be ORed together unless other Boolean operators are entered in ALL CAPs (e.g., entering the two words--pain management--will be searched as pain OR management unless otherwise specified).
  • Phrases may be entered in a query by the use of quotation marks (e.g., "aplastic anemia").
  • Wild cards, indicated by an asterisk, may be used. For example:
    • guidelin* will retrieve guideline and guidelines;
    • *pharesis will retrieve apharesis, leukapharesis, lymphapharesis, etc

HSTAT documents may be downloaded for printing at the user's machine.

Exercise

Using this link visit HSTAT and try a search or two on a topic of your choice to practice using the database. This is not a required exercise.

If you cannot think of a topic to research, try one of the following searches

  • What is the best way to obtain optimal calcium intake?
  • How can clinical competencies be maintained over time?
  • Provide me with a statement on measurement bias. (What happens if you search on the term "biases"?)

Discussion Questions

  1. Abstracts, tables and even conclusions from documents are included in HSTAT. Why are these useful to researchers? (Note: not all tables contain numerical data in them).
  2. After trying the searches listed above, how valuable is it to be able to drill down into a document to extract meaning from it? Examples of specific useful content can include definitions, abstracts, tables, and so on. In other words, how important is full-text in retrieving short, but significant pieces of information on a topic from several related documents?
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