CINAHL (The Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health) is by far the best database for the quality of the indexing – the behind the screens description of articles – that changes the searcher who knows how to use it into a super-searcher.
One feature is the instrument field. Every article entered in CINAHL that is primary research is tagged by the indexer (an actual human being!) as research. But the indexer takes it a step further. They read the article, determine what instruments were used to conduct the research, and then list those instruments in a distinct field of the record. Therefore, a searcher who wants to know all the research studies (listed in CINAHL) that used the “Berg Balance Scale” can on the advanced search page enter “Berg Balance Scale” in the left-hand search box, change the right-hand box from “select a field (optional) to “IN Instrumentation” and click on “search.” And then, through the magic of the computer, the searcher has over a thousand research articles that used the BBS.
Remember though, the computer is not actually magical. It merely matches terms at an incredible rate of speed. You, the searcher/researcher, are the magical one because you are a thinking creature. So make sure you use that brain!
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