Answered By: Colin Magee
Last Updated: Jan 15, 2019     Views: 436

CINAHL with Full Text is one of the best databases you can use to locate nursing & allied health articles. CINAHL (with Full Text), which stands forCumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, is the world's most comprehensive source of full text for nursing & allied health journals, providing full text for nearly 600 journals indexed in CINAHL.  Not everything in CINAHL with Full Text is in full text. Full text coverage only dates back to 1981. 

CINAHL with Full Text will also retrieve citations to print journal articles that may be found in the library or be requested from another library through Interlibrary Loan.  In addition, this database offers access to health care books, nursing dissertations, selected conference proceedings, standards of practice, educational software, audiovisuals and book chapters.

CINAHL with Full Text is part of the EBSCOhost Web databases.

Screenshot of CINAHL with Full Text

CINAHL with Full Text allows users to search for articles using two different search types: Basic or Advanced.  This section will describe how to use the Basicsearch. 

CINAHL with Full Text defaults to the Basic Search.  Under Search Options, you need to select a Search Mode from the following:

Boolean/Phrase searches words as a phrase – stop words ignored when part of phrase.

Find all my search terms will automatically AND all search terms entered (AND when you are retrieving too many articles.)

Find any of my search terms will automatically OR all search terms entered (OR when you are not retrieving enough articles.)

SmartText Searching -- You can copy and paste chunks of text (up to 5,000 characters including spaces) to search for results. This technology summarizes text entered to the most relevant search terms then conducts a search. This search mode is not available for all databases.

Screenshot of the CINAHL search screen highlighting how to limit your search.

Under Limit your results you will generally want to select some of the following:

Linked Full Text (in order to be able to read/print the full article from the computer.)

Peer Reviewed – the evaluation of scientific, academic, or professional work by others working in the same field (from the Oxford Dictionary of English.)

Journal Subset includes:  Allied Health, Alternative/Complementary Therapies, Consumer Health, Core Nursing, Nursing, etc.

Publication Type includes: Accreditation, Biography, Care Plan, Cartoon, Case Study, Code of Ethics, Consumer/Patient Teaching, Critical Path, Exam Questions, Nurse Practice Acts, Nursing Interventions, Practice Guidelines, Protocol, Standards, Teaching Materials, etc. 

Publication Year from -- allows you to limit your sources to the past few years by inserting the years needed into the appropriate boxes.

Advanced search options in CINAHL.

The Advanced Search has a few more bells and whistles.  You would generally use this search when you want to combine multiple search terms and want to refine your search.  Multiple windows allow you to search for several terms at once; limit each of your terms to a specific field (these include Ti Title, AU Author, Ab Abstract, etc.);  and, allow you to AND, OR, or NOT those results in order to limit or increase the number of articles retrieved. 

The Advanced Search also has additional limits you can apply including:

Clinical Queries includes Therapy, Prognosis, Review, Qualitative, and Causation (Etiology) with different levels of Sensitivity, Specificity, and Best Balance.

Special Interest includes Advanced Nursing Practice, Alternative Therapies, Case Management, Consumer Health, Critical Care, Emergency Care, Evidenced Based Practice, Gerontologic Care, Hospice Palliative Care, Informatics, Nursing Education, Occupational Therapy, Patient Safety, Physical Therapy, Sports, Medicine, Wound Care, etc.

CINAHL search results.


Using Advanced Search, type patient safety in the first box and select the field TI Title.  In the next box, type nursing and select the field AB Abstract.  Below, limit to Full TextAbstract Available, and Peer Reviewed.  We will also limit the Publication years from 2004 to 2010.

Once you click "search," you will be taken to a list of search results. Each item on the list is an article from a print publication, which contains your search results either in the title, subject headings, or record. Let's take a look at one of the items on the list. 

Search results record.

The hyperlink in blue at the top is the title of that article, and will take you to the article. In this example, the title is "The COPA Model: a comprehensive framework designed to promote quality care and competence for patient safety." Below that are the authors' names (Lenburg CB; Klein C; Abdur-Rahman V; Spencer T; Boyer S), the journal title (Nursing Education Perspectives), the publication date, volume, issue, page numbers, and a series of other numbers that identify the article in EBSCOhost.

If you hover your mouse cursor above the icon next to the article title, (the icon with the magnifying glass), a small window will pop up, showing you the abstractand the citation information for the article. An abstract is a paragraph-long description of the article. This hover-over feature allows you to read this description without having to leave the present page.

If you do not limit your search to full-text documents only, you will see some entries on your list that say "Add to folder" below the citation information. These are articles that you cannot have in full text.

Also note that the search results are always listed by most relevant first. You can sort the results so it shows the most recent ones first by selecting the "sort" link in the blue bar above the search results.

An article on the screen.

Click on the Title to open the article.  From this screen you can Emailsave it to your computer, print it, or save it to a folder (to store for a future session.)

Click on Detailed Record on the top left part of the screen and it will take you to the article's "record" page. From here you will see a bar/banner with 7 icons.  Click on the cite icon to cite this article (icon looks like a gold piece of paper).  A box will pop up which will show you 6 ways of citing this article including APA, MLA, etc.  Generally, nursing and allied health students will use the APA (American Psychological Association) style for sighting articles.

How to cite an article in CINAHL.

Contact the library for help using CINAHL with Full Text.

Related Topics

    Contact Us