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DSM-IV Religious and Spiritual Problems

LESSON 7.2 Searching Medline

MedlinePubMed Related Articles Searches Search Terms

Medline is a very powerful tool for obtaining the latest diagnostic and treatment findings, and it is free and easy to use. Medline (MEDlars onLINE) is a computerized bibliographic database of citations to published healthcare journal articles maintained by the National Library of Medicine (NLM). The bibliographic database covers the fields of medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, the health care system, and the preclinical sciences. It contains bibliographic citations (e.g., authors, title, and journal reference) and author abstracts from over 3900 biomedical journals published in the United States and 70 foreign countries. Medline currently contains over 10 million records dating back to 1966. While medical information is available from many sources, such as magazine articles, books, and web sites, Medline is considered a very authoritative resource because most of the Medline journals use peer review to determine the scientific validity of articles.

While Medline is available for free on at least 20 web sites, PubMed is the web interface designed by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) which maintains Medline. NLM designed PubMed for searching over the Internet. PubMed provides a variety of search modes. You can run a simple search by entering one search term in the query box, or you can construct complex search strategies using Boolean commands and a search menu interface.

Despite the enormity of the Medline database, it is easy to search. You will almost always be able to find what you want using simple search terms. In a couple of hours of practice and reading of the online PubMed Manuals, you can become a power user, taking advantage of MeSH index terms, field searches, and Boolean connectors. However, even as a search novice, you will be able to conduct effective searches.

Related Articles Searches
Citations in PubMed will have a [See Related Articles] link to the right of the author. Clicking on this link results in another search in Medline for articles which are most closely related to the original article. PubMed compares words from the Title and Abstract of each citation, as well as the MeSH headings assigned, using a powerful word-weighted algorithm. The Related Articles citation display is in rank order from most to least relevant. The citation you linked from is displayed first. This is a very powerful yet simple way to refine your search.

Search Terms
Religion is a major heading under humanities with many subcategories covering specific traditions, such as Buddhism Christianity and Islam.

Religion also includes overlapping areas such as

Religion and Medicine

Religion and Psychology.

Each of these has subheadings as well. For example, under Religion and Psychology,

are Pastoral Care and Spirituality

View the Medline Religion Mesh Description

Other MeSH descriptors that are relevant to religious and spiritual problems include

Mind-Body and Relaxation Techniques which includes meditation

Spiritual Therapies which includes shamanism and yoga.

MeSH notes that the term Mental Healing is also relevant.


The term mental healing in MeSH appears

a) under Spiritual Therapies b) under Mind-Body and Relaxation Techniques c) under both d) under neither

Record your answer for later insertion into the Quiz.


using Mesh you can combine terms such as religion and conversion to hone searches


Medline: Simple searching

Conduct a search for articles on conversion on PubMed by just entering the word conversion. Note the number or articles is over 59,000!

Record the name of a non religious conversion article that was found for later insertion into the Quiz.


Medline: Combined searching

Conduct a search for articles on conversion on PubMed by first going to Religion and using the MeSH browser. Click ADD this term/subheadings to the Search using operator: AND
Then add conversion after where it says "Religion"[MESH]-- so the box contains "Religion"[MESH] conversion. Click PubMed Search

Record the name of a religious conversion article that was found for later insertion into the Quiz.




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