Once you have decided on an area for research, you will need to conduct a search for suitable literature to review. Planning is very important, you should therefore choose a search strategy in order to locate appropriate articles (it is not a good idea to aimlessly go in search of evidence).

In order to decide on a search strategy start by identifying the keywords from the research question. For example if you are interested in researching how people of South Asian descent perceive hypertension, then I would expect you to select and search for the terms ‘hypertension’ ‘South Asian’ and ‘perception’. Hypertension amongst people of South Asian descent is however a very broad subject for a 6000-7000 word assignment; I would therefore expect you to narrow down the area for research, by being more specific. For example, you could research hypertension amongst South Asian men, age 40+, residing in the London borough of Walthamstow. What you should note is that this second example is more specific, this is necessary for a number of reasons, plus there is a limitation on the word count for the assignment.

Your search strategy should therefore be conducted by identifying the keywords from the research question, this will form the basis for locating articles via using databases, such as CINAHL, Pubmed, Medline, Google Scholar. If focusing on the second example, you could enter the following search terms into the elected database ‘hypertension and south asian men and Walthamstow London, hypertension control and south asian population perception or beliefs, cardiovascular risk’.

When conducting a search, do consider publication date; your University may have stated that only recent articles (the last 10 years) should be considered and must be peer reviewed. If these are the instructions, then ensure that you keep to your University instructions.

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