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Nursing Research Guide

Guidance for Nurses and Allied Health Researchers

Finding articles

For the best coverage of pathophysiology and physiology, find review articles. In addition to providing you a broad understanding of a condition or disease, you can also use them to find primary, clinical research using citation chaining.

  • Chaining citations backward gives you background and history (systematic reviews will cite each clinical study included) 
    • Use the citations at the end of an article
  • Chaining citations forward give you recent research on your topic    

Winter 2024 Topics

Systemic Lupus- Review article

Found in PubMed, Keywords- systemic lupus pathophysiology

Fanouriakis, A., Tziolos, N., Bertsias, G., & Boumpas, D. T. (2021). Update οn the diagnosis and management of systemic lupus erythematosusAnnals of the Rheumatic Diseases80(1), 14–25. https://doi.org/10.1136/annrheumdis-2020-218272


Hypertension- Review article

Found in PubMed, Keywords- Hypertension physiology

Richards, E. M., Li, J., Stevens, B. R., Pepine, C. J., & Raizada, M. K. (2022). Gut Microbiome and Neuroinflammation in HypertensionCirculation Research130(3), 401–417. https://doi.org/10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.121.319816


Opioid & alcohol misuse- Primary research

Found in CINAHL, Keywords opioid and alcohol use disorder 

Sübay, , Büşra, & Sönmez, M. B. (2021). Interoceptive Awareness, Decision-Making and Impulsiveness in Male Patients with Alcohol or Opioid Use DisorderSubstance Use & Misuse56(9), 1275–1283. https://doi.org/10.1080/10826084.2021.1914108


Breast cancer- Primary research

Found in CINAHL, Keywords Breast cancer AND lived experience

Potter, A. M., Bentz, B., Crue, L., Leiby, S., Bashi, S., Maguire, K., Meyers, J., & Mieczkowski, K. (2023). Men’s Lived Experiences of Breast Cancer and Changes in Occupation. Occupational Therapy International, 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1155/2023/9641922


Ischemic stroke- Review article

Found in PubMed, Keyword Ischemic stroke behavior

Pluta, R., Januszewski, S., & Czuczwar, S. J. (2021). The Role of Gut Microbiota in an Ischemic StrokeInternational journal of molecular sciences22(2), 915. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22020915


Celiac disease- Primary research

Found in CINAHL, Keywords- Celiac disease AND experien*

Dalton, J., & Castellanos, D. C. (2023). The Exploration of the Eating Experience in Adults with Celiac Disease: A Phenomenological Qualitative StudyJournal of the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics123(4), 593–601.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jand.2022.08.130


Myocardial infarction- Review article

Found in PubMed, Keywords- myocardial infarction

Saleh, M., & Ambrose, J. A. (2018). Understanding myocardial infarction. F1000Research7, F1000 Faculty Rev-1378. https://doi.org/10.12688/f1000research.15096.1


COPD- Primary research

Found in CINAHL, Keywords- COPD AND stress

Cekic, Y., Bulut, T. Y., & Avci, İ. A. (2022). The Effect of Provision of Information and Supportive Nursing Care on Blood Gas, Vital Signs, Anxiety, Stress, and Agitation Levels in COPD Patients Treated with NIV: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Indian Journal of Critical Care Medicine26(9), 1011–1018. https://doi.org/10.5005/jp-journals-10071-24315


Irritable bowel- Primary research

Found in CINAHL, Keywords- Irritable bowel AND experien*

Frändemark, Å., Törnblom, H., Simrén, M., & Jakobsson, S. (2022). Maintaining work life under threat of symptoms: a grounded theory study of work life experiences in persons with Irritable Bowel SyndromeBMC Gastroenterology22(1), 1–9. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12876-022-02158-4


Type 2 Diabetes- Review

Owens-Gary, M. D., Zhang, X., Jawanda, S., Bullard, K. M., Allweiss, P., & Smith, B. D. (2019). The Importance of Addressing Depression and Diabetes Distress in Adults with Type 2 DiabetesJournal of general internal medicine34(2), 320–324. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11606-018-4705-2


Hypertriglyceridemia-induced pancreatitis- Review

Found with citation chaining in Google Scholar

Yang, A. L., & McNabb-Baltar, J. (2020). Hypertriglyceridemia and acute pancreatitisPancreatology20(5), 795-800. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pan.2020.06.005


Scleroderma- Primary research

Found via CINAHL & Google Scholar- Keywords scleroderma AND experien*

Flurey, C. A., Pauling, J. D., Saketkoo, L. A., Denton, C. P., Galdas, P., Khanna, D., Williams, A., & Hughes, M. (2023). “I turned in my man card”: a qualitative study of the experiences, coping styles and support needs of men with systemic sclerosis. Rheumatology62(6), 2160–2167.


Alzheimer's disease- Primary research

Yu, F., Vock, D. M., Zhang, L., Salisbury, D., Nelson, N. W., Chow, L. S., Smith, G., Barclay, T. R., Dysken, M., & Wyman, J. F. (2021). Cognitive Effects of Aerobic Exercise in Alzheimer's Disease: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Alzheimer's disease : JAD80(1), 233–244. https://doi.org/10.3233/JAD-201100

Keyword and Article Examples

1. Constipation following a surgical procedure


postoperative ileus or postoperative constipation,

Constipation--Prevention and Control,

Surgical OR postoperative Patients

Found in CINAHL

Trads, M., Deutch, S. R., & Pedersen, P. U. (2018). Supporting patients in reducing postoperative constipation: fundamental nursing care–A quasi‐experimental studyScandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences32(2), 824-832.  https://doi.org/10.1111/scs.12513

2. Diabetes and genetic predisposition


Diabetes AND genetics

Diabetes AND epigenetics (This article is an excellent overview of the topic of epigenetics in regards to Diabetes and obesity)

This is still pretty broad, so I added "social"

Found in CINAHL

Nosrati, E., Jenum, A. K., Tran, A. T., Marmot, S. M., & King, L. P. (2018). Ethnicity and place: the geography of diabetes inequalities under a strong welfare state. European Journal of Public Health28(1), 30–34. https://doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/ckx119

3. Multiple Sclerosis


Multiple Sclerosis AND human response

Found in CINAHL

Encarnacao, P., Costa Oliveira, C., & Martins, T. (2018). Suffering, a Concept Present in Non-Cancer Patients: Multiple Sclerosis PatientsInternational Journal of Caring Sciences, 572–578.

4. Ulcerative colitis


Ulcerative colitis AND quality of life

Found in CINAHL

Armuzzi, A., Tarallo, M., Lucas, J., Bluff, D., Hoskin, B., Bargo, D., Cappelleri, J. C., Salese, L., & daCosta DiBonaventura, M. (2020). The association between disease activity and patient-reported outcomes in patients with moderate-to-severe ulcerative colitis in the United States and EuropeBMC Gastroenterology20(1), 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12876-020-1164-0

5. Diabetes Mellitus in Mexican-American 


Diabetes AND Latino

Found in CINAHL

Morales, J., Glantz, N., Larez, A., Bevier, W., Conneely, M., Fan, L., Reed, B., Alatorre, C., Paczkowski, R., Ahmed, T., Mackenzie, A., Duncan, I., & Kerr, D. (2020). Understanding the impact of five major determinants of health (genetics, biology, behavior, psychology, society/environment) on type 2 diabetes in U.S. Hispanic/Latino families: Mil Familias - a cohort study. BMC Endocrine Disorders, 20(1), 1–13. https://doi/.org/10.1186/s12902-019-0483-z

6. Chronic pain  pathophysiology 

KEYWORDS- searched as stated above in PubMed

Malfliet, A., Kregel, J., Coppieters, I., De Pauw, R., Meeus, M., Roussel, N., Cagnie, B., Danneels, L., & Nijs, J. (2018). Effect of pain neuroscience education combined with cognition-targeted motor control training on chronic spinal pain: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA neurology75(7), 808-817. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2018.0492

7. Guillan-Barre and COVID-19

KEYWORDS- searched as above, in PubMed

Khan, F., Sharma, P., Pandey, S., Sharma, D., V, V., Kumar, N., Shukla, S., Dandu, H., Jain, A., Garg, R. K., & Malhotra, H. S. (2021). COVID-19-associated Guillain-Barre syndrome: Postinfectious alone or neuroinvasive too? Journal of Medical Virology93(10), 6045–6049. https://doi.org/10.1002/jmv.27159

8. Coronary artery disease recovery AND depression

KEYWORDS- searched as above, found in CINAHL

da Cunha, D. M. M., dos Anjos, T. S., Lisboa Gois, C. F., de Mattos, M. C. T., Carvalho, L. V., de Carvalho, J., Silva, F. A., Silveira Sobral, D. A., de Mendonça Fialho, K., & Llapa Rodriguez, E. O. (2016). Depressive symptoms in patients with coronary artery disease. Investigacion & Educacion En Enfermeria34(2), 323–328. https://doi.org/10.17533/udea.iee.v34n2a12

9. Pediatric type 2 Diabetes or pre-diabetes


Pediatric type 2 diabetes AND human response

Found in CINAHL

Skoranski, A., Kelly, N. R., Radin, R. M., Thompson, K. A., Galescu, O., Demidowich, A. P., Brady, S. M., Chen, K. Y., Tanofsky-Kraff, M., Yanovski, J. A., & Shomaker, L. B. (2018). Relationship of Mindfulness to Distress and Cortisol Response in Adolescent Girls At-Risk for Type 2 DiabetesJournal of Child & Family Studies27(7), 2254–2264. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-018-1065-9

10. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis 


idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis AND mood

Found in CINAHL

Janssen, K., Rosielle, D., Wang, Q., & Kim, H. J. (2020). The impact of palliative care on quality of life, anxiety, and depression in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis: a randomized controlled pilot study. Respiratory Research21(1), 1–9. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12931-019-1266-9

Assignment Details

On your topic of interest you will need articles regarding human response to illness, touching on these 4 elements:

· Physiologic

· Pathophysiologic

· Experiential

· Behavioral

To search effectively for your sources you will need to have some background knowledge. Try reading a couple background articles if your searches are not working well, then improve your searches based on the keywords you find.

While a few topics will support searching  "human response to illness" or "behavior" along with the condition you are researching, they are the exception. Mostly, you should attend closely to these elements in your background reading. Once you determine which specific element you want to explore— your sources will be easier to find.

Evaluating Evidence

This exploratory activity provides experience with the CASP checklists to evaluate the weight and quality of evidenceDifferent CASP Checklists are appropriate for evaluating different kinds of research. The following examples can be useful for learning more.

Group One- Your patient is a 32 year old ER nurse diagnosed with PTSD and ulcers who has asked about non-pharmacological interventions.

Effect of traditional yoga, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy, on health related quality of life: a randomized controlled trial on patients on sick leave because of burnout.

Group Two- Your patient is 45 years old, recently diagnosed with Parkinson's, and has heard Tai Chi could help restore or maintain motor function. 

The impact of Tai Chi and Qigong mind-body exercises on motor and non-motor function and quality of life in Parkinson's disease: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Group Three-  Your patient is 23 and has Crohn's Disease. You are looking for an intervention to improve quality of life.

Characteristics of nursing interventions that improve the quality of life of people with chronic diseases. A systematic review with meta-analysis