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

Sociological Abstracts (CSA)

Snapshot of the Sociological Abstract search engine. This page is not linked because it requires a login and password. Many health services researchers are trained in medical sociology. Medical sociology has been important to health services research since the early 1940s. It is important to have an idea of what this field covers so as to provide better service to researchers whose training is in this discipline and for the quality articles that look at social and methodological issues.

More About CSA Sociological Abstracts

  • Producer:
    Sociological Abstracts, Inc., Cambridge Scientific Abstracts - http://www.csa.com/ (Direct link to database information or PDF version)
  • Vendors:
  • Topics: Sociology, including methodology and research technology, history and technology of sociology, social psychology, culture and social structure, group interactions, management and complex organizations, mass phenomena, social change and economic development, political interactions, social differentiation, rural sociology and agricultural economics, urban structures and ecology, sociology of the arts, sociology of education, sociology of religion, sociology of science, sociology of health and medicine, social problems and social welfare, sociology of knowledge, social control, demography and human biology, community development, policy, planning, and forecasting, studies in poverty, studies in violence, feminist studies, Marxist studies, and clinical sociology.
  • Database contains more than 669,000 records that consist of journal articles, book reviews, books, book chapters, dissertations, and conference papers.
  • Note: The references cited in the bibliography of the source article and/or to other papers that cite that reference 1952-1962 records were added to the database in November 2005.
  • Note: This is a different database from the EBSCO database called socINDEX.

A search on "quality of health care" retrieved over 326 citations. The journal titles that turn up vary. Examples include:

  • Social Theory & Health
  • Health & Social Care in the Community
  • Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare
  • Sociology of Health and Illness

Snapshot of search results from Sociological Abstracts. No link is provided since the database requires a login and password.Examining the social sciences for health-related content is highly recommended for the content that turns up that you and your might not otherwise see except as references in research bibliographies.

Alerts

Click on the Alerts link to set up alerts on important searches if this feature is available through the version of the database that you use.

Exercise

  1. Many early researchers who worked in health services research before it was known by this name were medical sociologists. Today many health services researchers have a Doctorate in Medical Sociology and their research reflects the emphasis on culture. If you have access to Sociological Abstracts through your institution, run a search on a health services topic (access, costs, etc.) and examine how the results are indexed and abstracted. Is the emphasis different in Sociological Abstracts than it is in Medline?
  2. At first glance sociology would not seem to play a prominent part in health services research - but it does. Many topics of interest to researchers are covered in Sociological Abstracts. Investigate the list of topics listed above in the Topics heading by running a set of searches on them. What kinds of articles show up? Do you recognize the journals they are published in? What does this tell you about the discipline and its relevance to health services researchers?

Discussion Questions

  1. Is it important to be able to "speak the language" of sociologists, psychologists, and other social scientists as well as the language of health services researchers? Why?
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