Skip to main content
Support - EBSCO Help

Patient Education Reference Center - Browsing the Thesaurus

Patient Education Reference Center (PERC) is also indexed by CINAHL subject headings and can be browsed as a thesaurus.

To browse a thesaurus:

  1. From the Advanced Search Screen, click the CINAHL Headings link.

    Cinahl Headings Thesaurus

  2. Enter your search terms in the Browse for field, and then select from: Term Begins With, Term Contains, or Relevancy Ranked radio buttons and click Browse.

    CINAHL Headings Browse Screen

  3. A list of appropriate CINAHL Headings is displayed.

    CINAHL Headings Browse

  4. Mark the headings that you want to use, combine your selections with AND, OR, or NOT if needed. (If a heading is not found for your search terms, the terms are displayed at the bottom of the list. You can mark the check box so that your terms are searched as a keyword search.)

  5. Click the Search Database button.  A Result List is displayed.

    Result List Screen

Using Explode and Major Concept


When you Explode a term, you create a search query that “explodes” the subject heading. The headings are exploded to retrieve all references indexed to that term as well as all references indexed to any narrower terms.

In a database with a tree, exploding retrieves all documents containing any of the terms below the term you selected in the tree. In a thesaurus, exploding retrieves all documents containing the selected term, as well as any of its first level of narrower terms. If a plus sign (+) appears next to a narrower or related term, there are narrower terms below it.

Major Concept

When you select Major Concept for a term, you create a search query that finds only records for which the subject heading is a major point of the article. Searches are limited with specific qualifiers (subheadings) to improve the precision of the search, and limited to major subject headings to indicate the main concept of an article.

Combining Explode and Major Concept

If you select Explode and Major Concept, you retrieve all references indexed to your term (and its narrower terms) and all articles for which the subject heading is a major point of the article.