Skip to Main Content

Drugs and Alcohol: Open Access to Research

Selecting keywords

Be brief and specific. Use only key concepts (keywords) that reflect exactly what you need. Here are examples:

1)      What treatment options are available for fetal alcohol syndrome?

1st, think of alternative phrases for fetal alcohol syndrome

  • alcohol-exposed pregnancies
  • prenatal alcohol exposure

Combine any of these phrases with the term treatment. For example:

prenatal alcohol exposure  treatment

Combine treatment with multiple terms for fetal alcohol syndrome. For example:

treatment (prenatal alcohol exposure OR alcohol exposed pregnancies OR fetal alcohol syndrome) 

2)      What can be done to reduce fetal alcohol syndrome? Because the question is about a reduction of the problem add the term prevention to one or more of the phrases above. For example:

fetal alcohol syndrome  prevention

3)      What are the most effective treatments for fetal alcohol syndrome? 

To answer questions about treatment effectiveness use keywords that refer to study types. Try several search options:

fetal alcohol syndrome randomized controlled trial

prenatal alcohol exposure systematic review

Specific keywords

To target specific types of information on your topic, try a variety of relevant keywords:

4) What terms can be used to determine the scope & magnitude of the problem?

  • epidemiology  
  • incidence   
  • prevalence  
  • statistics  
  • trends

5)  What terms are useful for understanding the causes, correlates, harms associated with the problem?

  • comorbidity 
  • etiology
  • prognosis 
  • prospective cohort study  
  • retrospective cohort study
  • protective factors  
  • risk factors  

6) What terms are relevant to the diagnosis of the problem?

  • diagnosis  
  • diagnostic criteria  
  • evaluation  
  • screening

7) What terms can be used to locate evidence for treatment/ intervention effectiveness?

  • randomized controlled trial 
  • clinical trial  
  • control group
  • experimental design
  • quasi-experimental