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NURS 5052 Week 5 Discussion: Week 5 Discussion


For the Week 5 discussion in NURS 6052, you are asked to find two quantitative research studies that address one issue chosen from a list of issues. This guide will teach you how to find a quantitative research article on a specific topic in a nursing database. Specifically, this guide will discuss how to:

  • pick relevant keywords for your topic and combine them with Boolean operators
  • identify and combine search words to find quantitative studies in the CINAHL Plus with Full Text database
  • evaluate the articles that you find to determine if they actually used the desired research method

Pick keywords

Searching the Library databases is not the same as doing a Google search. Here are some key differences:

  • The databases search for exactly what you enter in the search boxes.
    • If you enter a whole sentence, you'll probably get no results.
    • If you misspell or mistype a word, you'll probably get no results.
  • By default, the databases only search for what you enter in the search boxes in the article's title, citation, abstract, and subject headings.
    • This can help you get more relevant results.
    • If your topic is obscure, or not mentioned in these fields, you may get no results.

To effectively search the Library databases we suggest:

  • Breaking apart your topic into the component parts
    • For example, if your topic is anxiety in children the main parts are: Anxiety and Children.
  • Combining these main parts with the Boolean Operators, AND, OR, and NOT
    • AND tells the database to search for both terms in an article:
      • Anxiety AND Children
    • OR tells the database to search for either term, which is especially useful for synonyms:
      • Children OR Kids
    • NOT tells the database to exclude any results that have that term:
      • Anxiety NOT Depression

To learn more about finding articles on your topic in the databases, please see our guide:


To learn more about Boolean Operators, please see our guide:

Quantitative studies

Quantitative studies use numbers and statistics to test their hypotheses.

Some keywords associated with quantitative research studies include:

  • Clinical trial
  • Correlational
  • Data
  • Laboratory experiment
  • Meta analysis
  • Randomized controlled trial
  • Regression
  • Statistically significant
  • Survey


Since not all quantitative research studies have the word quantitative in the title or abstract, it helps to link together the names of different types of quantitative research studies in your search. Here is an example of a search for quantitative research articles on anxiety in children in the CINAHL Plus with Full Text database:

1. On the Library homepage, go to the Subject Resources box.

2. Click on Select a subject and choose: Nursing.

3. Scroll down until you see a section called Nursing articles, journals & books.

4. Click on Nursing databases and then click on the link for CINAHL Plus with Full Text to access the database.

Note: If you have not already logged in to the Library databases, you will be prompted to log in with your myWalden Portal user name and password.

5. Once you are in the database, go to the first search box and enter:

quantitative OR trial OR meta analysis

6. In the second search box, enter your topic:


7. In the third search box, enter the rest of your topic, if necessary:


Here is what your search boxes should look like:


8. To limit your results to only peer-reviewed articles, go below the search boxes and click in the box under Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals.

Click here to see this image in context.


9. Then click on the Search button to run your search.

10. As you are looking through your results, you can refer to the Evaluate your results section to make sure the article you pick is indeed a quantitative research study.


If you don't find what you need in the CINAHL Plus with Full Text database, you can use the same search strategy in our other nursing and health databases:

Quiz on quantitative research

Which of the following keywords will not help you find quantitative studies in the Library databases?

a. Meta analysis

b. Data

c. Interview

d. Trial


Quiz answer

Evaluate your results

Unfortunately, just because you entered keywords associated with the research type you are trying to find, that doesn't guarantee that all of your results will be the desired research type. Once you have your list of results, reflect on the keywords associated with your desired research method. With those keywords in mind, here are a few places you can look to check that you've truly found what you wanted:


  • Title: Sometimes the research methodology will be stated in the title of the article. For example:
    • "Considerations for the provision of psychosocial services for families following paediatric burn injury: A quantitative study."
    • "Clown intervention to reduce preoperative anxiety in children and parents: A randomized controlled trial."


  • Abstract: If the title does not specify what type of research methodology was used, the next place to look is the abstract. The abstract gives you a short summary of the article and will generally include the research methodology.
    • Here is how you can access an article's abstract:

1. From the list of results, click on the title of the article.

2. Scroll down until you see the Abstract field.

Note: not all articles have an abstract. If the one you picked does not, you'll need to look at the full text of the article.

Article abstract with search terms in bold.


  • Article: If neither the title nor the abstract makes it clear what type of research methodology was used, you'll need to go to the full text of the article. The sections where you are most likely to find out what type of research methodology was used are the Introduction, Methodology/Method, and Design.

Note: These sections may have slightly different headings, but will generally be near the beginning of the article.


To learn more about evaluating your results, please see our guide:

More information

Quiz answer

Quantitative Quiz Answer:

c. Interviews

Interviews are a type of qualitative research. Meta analyses, data, and trials are all good keywords for finding quantitative research.

Module 3, Week 5 Assignment

"Use the key words from the PICO(T) question you developed and search at least four different databases in the Walden Library to identify at least four relevant peer-reviewed articles at the systematic-reviews level related to your research question."

use: Walden Nursing Databases

Evidence-Based Practice Research Guide: Levels of Evidence: Systematic Reviews

"Identify the four research databases that you used to conduct your search for the peer-reviewed articles you selected."

Tip: Ebsco, ProQuest, and Ovid are the companies providing the subscriptions. The database names are CINAHL, MEDLINE, PsycInfo, Nursing & Allied Health Source, Joanna Briggs Institute EBP Database, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, etc.

"Describe the levels of evidence in each of the four peer-reviewed articles you selected, including an explanation of the strengths of using systematic reviews for clinical research. Be specific and provide examples."

See: Evidence-Based Practice Research Guide: Levels of Evidence Pyramid and the interactive Pyramid linked in the course.