Skip to main content

PubMed @ NYU: MeSH Translation Tools

Guide to using PubMed, the premier biomedical database for medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, the health care system, and preclinical sciences.

MeSH Tools

MeSH (Medical Subject Headings) is the U.S. National Library of Medicine's controlled vocabulary, a standard collection of terms used to index article contents.

  • MeSH terminology imposes uniformity and consistency to the indexing of the biomedical literature.
  • Searching using MeSH pulls together all articles on a concept including synonyms and allows for spelling variations.
  • Link to a MeSH video tutorial
  • Link to MeSH factsheet

When searching Pubmed with terms, e.g.: joint replacement in the MeSH database, the results will include:

  • The entry term translated to MeSH terminology: Arthroplasty, replacement
  • A display of Subheadings.
    (If none are selected, results will include results with or without the subheadings;
    if two (2) or more are selected, then results will include  citations that include any of the subheadings selected.)
  • A display of a MeSH term hierarchically, for example, the term Arthroplasty, replacement and its narrower terms

View the live version here


Using the MeSH browser feature of PubMed helps you to translate your term into the vocabulary of the database.
From the PubMed home page, click on MeSH Database










In this example, the entry term: "texting" gets translated to text messaging, the MeSH term:













Below are more examples:

Entry Term 
MeSH Term
Text messaging [MeSH]
Neoplasms [MeSH]
hand washing
Handwashing [MeSH]
hospital infection
Cross infection [MeSH]
nurse absenteeism
Absenteeism [MeSH]
pressure mattress
Beds [MeSH]
Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome [MeSH]
ventilator associated pneumonia
pneumonia, ventilator-associated"[MeSH]
nurse patient ratio
Nursing Staff, Hospital/supply & distribution [MeSH]
Personnel Staffing and Scheduling/statistics & numerical data [MeSH]
Accidental falls [MeSH]
Restraint, physical [MeSH]
electronic medical record
Electronic health records [MeSH]














Use the Yale MeSH Analyzer  to create your own MeSH Analysis Grid! It is simple to depict your indexed citations from Medline/PubMed with MeSH terms like the table below. Help identify the problems in your search, re-think and modify your strategy.






Does preoperative orientation and education alleviate anxiety i...

Enhanced education and physiotherapy before knee replacement; i...

Preoperative education for hip or knee replacement.

Author (Year)

Rhodes L (2015)

Jordan RW (2014)

McDonald S (2014)

MeSH Headings

Analgesics, Opioid / therapeutic use
Anxiety / diagnosis
Anxiety / prevention & control

Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee / methods
Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee / rehabilitation

Anxiety / prevention & control
Arthroplasty, Replacement, Hip / adverse effects
Arthroplasty, Replacement, Hip / psychology
Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee / adverse effects
Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee / psychology

Caregivers / psychology


Exercise Therapy / methods

Early Ambulation


Follow-Up Studies





Length of Stay


Length of Stay




Patient Education as Topic
Patient Satisfaction
Preoperative Care
Prospective Studies

Patient Education as Topic / methods
Physical Therapy Modalities
Preoperative Care / methods

Patient Education as Topic
Postoperative Complications / psychology
Preoperative Care / methods


Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic

Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic

Scoliosis / surgery
Single-Blind Method
Spinal Fusion / psychology


Treatment Outcome


Author Keywords


Knee arthroplasty
Knee replacement



MeSH on Demand identifies MeSH Terms in a block of text using the NLM Medical Text Indexer (MTI) program.

CLICK HERE to access MeSH on Demand

After processing, MeSH on Demand returns a list of MeSH Terms relevant to your text.

For more information about MeSH on Demand, please see the  NLM Technical Bulletin article.