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KIN 470 – Clinical Biomechanics of Musculoskeletal Conditions: Original research

Searching for individual studies

Can't find a systematic review or CPG related to your research question?  Then search journal databases for individual studies.  Apply your critical appraisal skills to be sure that you are obtaining high quality evidence.

When using Google Scholar, set up the Google Scholar settings to link to Waterloo full text journals. Check the University of Waterloo box and Save.

PubMed search tips

Tip #1:  Use AND / OR / brackets ( )

Background question:  What are the nutritional factors related to bone health? 

(bone density OR bone fractures OR bones) AND (diet OR nutrition) 

An article search for background questions can retrieve a LOT of studies.  This is why it is better to use the reference texts to gather some basic information and then generate a specific, foreground question for the PubMed search.  

Foreground question: What is the effect of calcium and vitamin D supplementation on the incidence of stress fractures in the adult athlete? 

calcium AND vitamin D AND (stress fractures or bone fractures OR bone density) AND adult

Tip #2: Use the PubMed search terms (MeSH headings) for a topic 

Find MeSH headings in the MeSH database on the PubMed homepage or listed underneath the abstract of an article.

keyword    Mesh heading  PubMed search


range of motion

 (seniors OR aged)
 (nutrition OR diet) 
 (flexibility OR range of motion)