Skip to main content
Support - EBSCO Help

CINAHL Clinical Queries

What are CINAHL Clinical Queries?

Clinical Queries are specific search strategies (“hedges”) which can be applied to retrieve clinically-relevant and scientifically-sound results from the CINAHL® databases.

These strategies are created in collaboration with the Health Information Research Unit (HIRU) at McMaster University, and are designed for clinician use. For additional information about ongoing research, please visit:

Application of Clinical Queries – “How to”

Clinical Queries are developed to retrieve results containing clinically-sound studies. The five strategies which can be applied are Therapy, Prognosis, Review, Qualitative, and Causation (Etiology).

The searcher may select a more highly-focused result for each strategy by selecting one of the following:

  • High Sensitivity – the broadest search to include ALL relevant material; it may include less relevant materials.

  • High Specificity – the most targeted search to include only the most relevant set; may miss some relevant materials.

  • Best Balance – retrieves the best balance between Sensitivity and Specificity.

Searching with Clinical Queries

After the search strategy is created and displayed in the search box, select the clinical query to be applied to the strategy and search. The clinical query selected will be noted in the search history.

For more information see, specifically the FAQ:
What are the search strategies used by CINAHL® Queries?

EXAMPLE: Clinical Query for Therapy – High Sensitivity has been selected and applied to our subject search on Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

CINAHL clinical queries limiter on search screen

Results from application of Therapy – High Sensitivity applied to the major subject heading of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Clinical Query is noted in the Search History under the column Search Options.

CINAHL search history with clinical queries applied to search