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PHRM 813: Aspects of Patient Care

Guide for Alexandra Herman's Aspects of Patient Care class. Follow the order of the pages to complete the class the week of March 30th & feel free to utilize afterwards as well.

Utilizing Databases

Now that I have my background information I want to find some more specifics. Articles are a great way to find information that narrows down the topic some. You can use databases to find articles, guidelines, drug information, and more. Remember the skills from Elements of a Search to help you search databases.

Databases to Consider

Check mark icon.Quick Tip: Just because a database might be more academic or scholarly doesn't mean it is immune to biases and isms.

Advancing Your Search: Filters

Many databases, like PubMed, have filters that let you narrow down even more - like by a person's age.

If you are in a resource like PubMed the filters will be on the left hand side of the page, just like in the catalog.

Screenshot of the PubMed filters with the age filter selected

Need more help with PubMed? See our PubMed Guide:

Advancing Your Search: More Terminology

That initial search we did was pretty simple, but it was a way to start without eliminating too many options. Searching is iterative. You might have to combine multiple searches in multiple databases (hint: this is why Saving & Keeping Track of Searches/Results is so important).

Image with synonyms for anxiety being "general anxiety," "anxiety disorders," and "mental health"

To advance my search even more, I might want to think of alternative ways to phrase what I need. Looking at Subject Headings/Terms can be a great way to think of new ways to phrase what I need or even look for articles specifically about my topic. In PubMed subject headings are called Medical Subject Headings (MeSH).


  1. Using our topic, create a search and find a relevant and useful resource.
    • I am looking at the use of St. John’s Wort for treatment of anxiety in the African American community.
  2. Go to the Searching Activity, put your initials and the database you are going to search, and follow the prompts. You can chose to search PubMed, Medline Plus, or CINAHL. If you aren't familiar with a database this might be a good time to try it.

After Activity Discussion

Icon of conversation word bubbles, meant to convey

  • Different databases and resources are important when looking to see the whole picture. One tool won't cut it.
    • When researching a culture and a disorder that has traditionally had stigma attached to it and issues of different underrepresented groups not having equal representation in the medical field (and beyond) the field is more complex.
  • Patient/public resources like Medline Plus can be a good way to find common language and information that breaks down an issue whereas PubMed and CINAHL are more specifically academic/scholarly resources.
  • Resources that would give me drug information, like Drug Information Portal, Lexicomp, Natural Medicines, etc. will have quick information about the drug but won't have the contextual information I need.
  • What were your thoughts, experiences, and pros/cons?

Student Success & Engagement Librarian