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Locating Qualitative Research: Medline


  • Use appropriate Medical Subject Heading (MeSH) terms in your search, such as:
    • Qualitative Research [research that derives data from observation, interviews, or verbal interactions and focuses on the meanings and interpretations of the participants. Year introduced: 2003]
    • Interviews as Topic [conversations with an individual or individuals held in order to obtain information about their background and other personal biographical data, their attitudes and opinions, etc. It includes school admission or job interviews. Year introduced: 2008 (1980)]
    • Focus Groups [a method of data collection and a qualitative research tool in which a small group of individuals are brought together and allowed to interact in a discussion of their opinions about topics, issues, or questions. Year introduced: 1993]
    • Nursing Methodology Research [research carried out by nurses concerning techniques and methods to implement projects and to document information, including methods of interviewing patients, collecting data, and forming inferences. The concept includes exploration of methodological issues such as human subjectivity and human experience. Year introduced: 1991(1989)]
    • Anecdotes as Topic [brief accounts or narratives of an incident or event. Year introduced: 2008(1963)]
    • Narration [the act, process, or an instance of narrating, i.e., telling a story. In the context of MEDICINE or ETHICS, narration includes relating the particular and the personal in the life story of an individual. Year introduced: 2003]
    • Video Recording [the storing or preserving of video signals for television to be played back later via a transmitter or receiver. Recordings may be made on magnetic tape or discs (VIDEODISC RECORDING). Year introduced: 1984]
    • Tape Recording [recording of information on magnetic or punched paper tape. Year introduced: 1967(1964)]
    • Personal Narratives as Topic [works about accounts of individual experience in relation to a particular field or of participation in related activities. Year introduced: 2013]

NOTE: Inconsistent indexing in Medline. For example, grounded theory articles are not always indexed for qualitative research. Need to TextWord search for additional terms: “grounded theory”, “action research”, ethnograph* etc.

Additional MeSH terms that may be applicable to your topic include: Attitude of Health PersonnelAttitude to DeathAttitude to Health; or Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice.

  • Limit your search to specific Publication Types, such as:
    • Interview [work consisting of a conversation with an individual regarding his or her background and other personal and professional details, opinions on specific subjects posed by the interviewer, etc. Year introduced: 2008(1993)]
    • Diaries [works consisting of records, usually private, of writers' experiences, observations, feelings, attitudes, etc. They may also be works marked in calendar order in which to note appointments and the like. (From Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 2d ed) Year introduced: 2008(1997)]
    • Anecdotes [works consisting of brief accounts or narratives of incidents or events. Year introduced: 2008(1999)]
    • Personal Narratives [works consisting of accounts of individual experience in relation to a particular field or of participation in related activities. Year introduced: 2013]
  • Use Text Words to find articles missed by MeSH terms
  • Use a Qualitative Research Filter:
  • (((“semi-structured”[TIAB] OR semistructured[TIAB] OR unstructured[TIAB] OR informal[TIAB] OR “in-depth”[TIAB] OR indepth[TIAB] OR “face-to-face”[TIAB] OR structured[TIAB] OR guide[TIAB] OR guides[TIAB]) AND (interview*[TIAB] OR discussion*[TIAB] OR questionnaire*[TIAB])) OR (“focus group”[TIAB] OR “focus groups”[TIAB] OR qualitative[TIAB] OR ethnograph*[TIAB] OR fieldwork[TIAB] OR “field work”[TIAB] OR “key informant”[TIAB])) OR “interviews as topic”[Mesh] OR “focus groups”[Mesh] OR narration[Mesh] OR qualitative research[Mesh] OR "personal narratives as topic"[Mesh]

Mixed Methods Research Design

PubMed does not have suitable MeSH terms for mixed methods research. Search your topic with the following suggested text words using the quotes and truncation symbol*:

    “mixed model*” OR “mixed design*” OR “multiple method*” OR multimethod* OR triangulat*