Skip to Main Content

Systematic reviews: CINAHL

CINAHL Quick Link

What is CINAHL?

  • CINAHL = Consolidated Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature
  • Bibliographic database indexing articles from over 5,500 journals. 
  • Does not include full text.
  • Years of coverage: Indexed from 1937 to present.
  • Sits on the EBSCOhost platform.

Searching CINAHL step by step

If you have already searched Ovid Medline:

  • General process is similar to searching Ovid Medline - grouping concepts and including subject headings and text
  • However the EBSCOhost interface looks a bit different to Ovid - buttons are in different places and syntax (commands) are different
  • Check for CINAHL specific SUBJECT HEADINGS (remembering this database has a nursing focus)
  • Use the Polyglot tool to translate text search lines from Ovid Medline to CINAHL eg haphazard.ti to TI haphazard
  • See helpsheet for step by step process

How to exclude animal studies in CINAHL

Don't 'limit to humans'

If you select 'limit to humans' you risk losing all non-indexed and pre-print publications in a database which have not been indexed as 'human'. This could be thousands of records.

Instead, remove the animal studies

A safer alternative is to search for the things we don't want (in this case animal studies) and remove them from the results. Adjust the line numbers below as appropriate.

CINAHL example

S6. [last line of search - your line number will be different]
S7. (MH "Animals+") NOT (MH "Human") 
S8. S6 not S7

Guide Author

Helen Wilding, Senior Research Librarian

Carl de Gruchy Library, St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne

Literature Searching, Systematic Reviews, Mental Health liaison 
Thursdays, Fridays & alternate Wednesdays
Helen's profile | Researchgate | Orcid