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Transcultural Nursing: Research Tips

Search Strategies

How Search Strategies Work 


Search Strategy

What it does



(Boolean Operator)

All terms must appear

Narrows your search

Fewer results

Use to include multiple unique concepts

“coffee AND Brazil” searches for all articles that include both terms, coffee and Brazil


(Boolean Operator)

Either term may appear

Broadens your search

More results

Use for related concepts

“coffee OR caffeine” searches for either term in the articles


(Boolean Operator)

Removes a term from your search

Narrows your search

Fewer results

Use for concepts you do not want to include

“South America NOT Brazil” searches for articles on South America and removes articles with the word Brazil in them


Search for exact phrases

Narrows your search

Fewer results

“ecological tourism” searches for that phrase in that particular order


Searches for all forms of a word

Broadens your search

More results

Use to search for the root word of a concept

Add an asterisk * to the root or stem of a word

A search for “tour*” will look for tour, tourism, tourist


Using Boolean Operators


Using Limits in Your Search

What are limits and why use them?

Limits are helpful in focusing your search.  Once you've done your initial search you can use some limits to help you narrow your results to a more manageable amount of information.

  • Date:  limit results to a specific time frame
  • Peer review:  limit to only peer-reviewed articles
  • Full text:  find only the articles available in full text  **TIP:  you can request an article that isn't available through Interlibrary Loan
  • Publication type:  limit results to meta analysis, reviews, systematic reviews, research articles, and evidence based practice.

Useful Terms

Below is a list of subjects that relate to transcultural nursing issues.  Considering these subject terms can help you develop a topic or focus your search.

Cultural aspects:

Develop a Search Strategy

Define your topic in the form of a question.


What cultural customs are associated with prenatal care for Muslim women?

  • List common synonyms for each concept.
  • Truncate where appropriate.

Concept 1

Concept 2

Concept 3


prenatal care


social life

antenatal care



pregnancy care



maternal health



Use Boolean Operators to connect search terms:

  • Combine synonyms using Boolean Operator "OR" to broaden focus.
  • Combine concepts using Boolean Operator "AND" to narrow focus.


(cultur* OR social life OR custom* OR religio*) AND
(prenatal care OR antenatal care OR pregnancy care OR maternal health) AND
(islam* OR muslim*)

You may find it helpful to substitute the name of countries associated with the ethnic group of interest. 


Iran, Jordan, Afghanistan