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CXA213/313 Health Promotion: Principles & Planning

A guide to finding quality literature for your Literature Review.

How to approach a literature review

Two ebooks that you may find useful are:

1. Why do a literature review in health and social care?
2. How do I develop a question for my literature review?
3. Which literature will be relevant to my literature review?
4. How do I search for literature?
5. How do I critically appraise literature?
6. How do I analyse my findings?
7. How do I discuss my findings and make recommendations?
8. Frequently asked questions


1. Introduction
2. Where to start
3. Clinical information: sources
4. Searching the internet
5. Formulating searchable questions
6. Building a search strategy
7. Free text and thesaurus searching
8. Searching healthcare databases
9. Refining search results
10. Saving citations
11. Citation pearl searching
12. Quality improvement and value: sources
13. Patient information: sources
14. Critical appraisal
15. Glossary of terms
App. 1. Ten tips for effective searching

Databases to try

Using subject specific databases will help you to find reliable literature on your topic, and the Library has a number of health/medicine specific databases for you to try.  Here are a few suggestions to get you started:


PRO TIP: The EBSCO database package includes several health specific databases, such as CINAHL Complete, Medline Complete, Health Source-Nursing/Academic, and SPORTDiscus.

You can search these databases simultaneously using the EBSCO databases link below.

Choose the health databases you want to search from the list, then click the Continue link (at the top or bottom of the list) to proceed to the search screen.


Check the Health & Medicine Subject Guide for more database suggestions, as well as 'How to' database searching videos.

Using Boolean Operators (AND, OR, NOT)

Do you know how to use Boolean Operators (AND, OR, NOT) to construct a search strategy?  If you need a refresher, watch this short introduction from Lincoln Memorial University.

Using MeSH (Medical Subject Headings)

MeSH is the National Library of Medicine's controlled vocabulary thesaurus.  It is used to index articles in Medline, and it can really help you to target your search for literature on your topic.  Watch this video to find out how to use MeSH terms to improve your PubMed search.


Would you like some expert advice about researching or writing your literature review?  Contact the Student Learning team:


Drop In

The Student Learning Drop In mentors provide friendly and individualised academic assistance to all UTAS students.

No appointment is necessary. You can visit as often as you like.

Student Learning Librarians

Book an appointment with a Student Learning Librarian for expert assistance with:

  • getting started with your research assignments
  • planning your search to save time and stress
  • choosing the best search tools and sources
  • keyword searching and other strategies
  • applying referencing styles

Appointments can be face to face, by phone, or via Skype.

Student Learning Advisors

Book an appointment with a Student Learning Adviser for expert assistance with:

  • assignment writing
  • exam preparation
  • referencing
  • numeracy
  • English language skills

Appointments can be face to face, by phone, or via Skype.