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Health Promotion Planning [AHS 414]: Home

Supports the concepts, techniques, and methods of planning health activities.

Useful Research Guides

Selecting the Best Results

Retrieving too many results? There are various strategies you may consider to narrow down your search. There is not one correct way to search. But these strategies have proved useful.

  • Use the Subjects and MeSH to find articles coded as being about your topic.
  • Search for Subjects and MeSH as Major Subjects.
  • Limit to the higher levels of evidence-based practice. They have the strongest evidence, but only if they fit your topic.
  • Limit to the newest results. They may include the latest findings.
  • Add more keywords.
  • Search for your words in the title of the article.  One may assume that those keywords may reflect major topics of the article.
  • Select sources by well-known researchers on that topic...if you determine that there are Big Name Researchers on that topic.

What if you cannot find many sources about your topic? There are various strategies you may consider to broaden your search. 

  • Explode the Subjects and MeSH
  • Add synonyms of your keywords with OR
  • Truncate your keywords.
  • Remove some of your keywords. Maybe some of the are unnecessary.
  • If you are searching for topics A+B+C+D,  maybe no research has been done on your entire research question yet. Try searching for A+B+C. Or search for A+C+D. Or search for A+B. Search for C+D. 
  • Did you misspell a keyword?

Searching for your class projects in AHS 414 (video 1:28:56)

Book - Annotated Bibliography

Search the Library Catalog to find books owned by the ISU Library. 

You cannot search the full-text of the books using the Catalog. You can only search the description and words in the record of the book in the Catalog. And an average book may be 300 pages. So it usually best practice to not enter too many search words or to make your search words to specific and detailed. 

You may choose to look for books on a broader topic. For example, a book on health business would probably include information about management.


Useful Databases for Health Promotion Planning

Using a database to search for sources can be more efficient and effective than searching the Internet due to the special features and characteristics of the database. Besides the citation information of a source, databases add "metadata" to the source record, which is further descriptive information about that source. This metadata can be used to retrieve source records from the databases.

CINAHL and MEDLINE via EBSCOhost are very meticulous about applying metadata to source records. CINAHL Subjects and MeSH (Medical Subject Headings)  are assigned to sources that are ABOUT that subject. Major Subjects are the primary focus of the source. Minor Subjects are covered in the source but much less. Or the Minor Subjects are descriptive about the study or the case, such as the age groups of the patients/research subjects or the type of methodology used.


Database Search Strategies

You must change your topic into words and strings of characters in order to search for sources about it. Remember that you must anticipate what words OTHER PEOPLE might use to discuss your topic. 

health promotion program OR patient education 

intervention OR program OR programme OR programs OR programmes 

model* OR framework* OR theor* OR approach*

communit* OR public OR neighborhood

youth* OR teen* OR juvenile* OR adolescen* OR child* OR pediatric* OR young*

sexual health or sexuality or sexual wellbeing or well-being or well being

wellbeing or well-being or well being


health OR well*

partner* OR "work together" 

prevent* OR control* OR cure OR solve OR solution OR 

statistics OR rate OR rates OR incidence OR prevalence OR epidemiology

market* OR advertis* OR broadcast* OR notify OR notified OR notif*

advantag* OR benefit* OR pro OR pros OR cons OR disadvantag* OR problem* OR issue*

(substance OR drug OR alcohol) AND (misuse OR abuse OR addict* OR use)  <= "use" might be too common a word to be helpful

substance abuse or substance use or drug abuse or drug addiction or drug use or alcohol use or alcohol abuse or alcohol addiction

breast AND (cancer* OR neoplasm* OR oncolog*)

((MH "Neoplasms+") OR cancer* OR maligna* OR tumor* OR tumour* OR carcinoma* OR sarcoma* OR  OR neoplasm* OR oncolog* OR (MH "Antineoplastic Agents+") OR (MH "Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols+") OR (MH "Antineoplastic Protocols+") OR (MH "Chemotherapy, Adjuvant+") OR (MH "Chemotherapy, Cancer, Regional Perfusion+") OR (MH "Chemoradiotherapy+") OR (MH "Consolidation Chemotherapy+") OR (MH "Induction Chemotherapy+") OR Antineoplastic* OR Chemotherap* OR chemoradiotherap* OR cytotoxic OR radiochemotherap* OR myeloma* OR neuroblastoma* OR osteosarcoma* OR glioma* OR adenocarcinoma* OR hematooncological* OR hemato-oncological* OR nephroblastom* OR chemoradiation OR immunoradiotherap*)


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Shelley Arvin
Contact me for help. I will work with you to find the way to best help you. Options will consider appropriate agreeable and safe communication and location solutions for you. Email is a good way to contact me.

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