Evidence Based Medicine Searching Strategies


MEDLINE uses a controlled vocabulary called Medical Subject Headings (MeSH).

There are MeSH terms to use to search each type of EBM literature. In addtion to MeSH terms, you may also use text word searching. Adding text word searching to the MeSH terms is a way to broaden a search and/or to allow for indexing inconsistencies.

There are several MeSH terms and text words to use to search EBM therapy literature.

Medical Subject Headings. Below are listed some MeSH terms to use when searching for EBM articles dealing with therapy. Look at the scope notes for these terms and become familiar with how they are defined. Remember that to include the narrower terms of a MeSH heading (i.e., Clinical Trials), you must explode the term. Articles are indexed to the most specific level.

    Clinical Trials

      Clinical Trials, Phase I
      Clinical Trials, Phase II
      Clinical Trials, Phase III
      Clinical Trials, Phase IV Controlled Clinical Trials
      Multicenter Studies
      Randomized Controlled Trials

    Comparative Study


      Animal Testing Alternatives
      Clinical Protocols
      Feasibility Studies
      Human Genome Project
      Peer Review, Research
      Pilot Projects
      Reproducibility of Results
      Research Design Double-Blind Method
      Patient Selection
      Random Allocation
      Sample Size

Textwords. Below are some textwords and roots of textwords which may prove useful when searching for EBM articles on therapy. The truncation symbol (:) will allow you to retrieve any textword beginning with the typed characters (i.e. Random: will retrieve random, randomized, randomizing, etc.)


List the EBM terms and textwords you have decided to use in your drug therapy for headache search here.