CINAHL Subject Headings is adapted from MeSH, the National Library of Medicine's controlled vocabulary thesaurus of medical subject terms, or "headings," arranged in a hierarchical structure that permits searching at various levels of specificity.
CINAHL Subject Headings are arranged in both an alphabetic and a hierarchical structure. At the most general level of the hierarchical structure are very broad headings such as "Anatomy" or "Mental Disorders." More specific headings are found at more narrow levels of the thirteen-level hierarchy, such as "Ankle" and "Conduct Disorder." Also, unused terms are cross-referenced to the most appropriate heading, for example, "Vitamin C" is an entry term to "Ascorbic Acid."
The indexing includes tools to specify major heading and search several headings within the hierarchy simultaneously. Ask your librarian for help learning about these tools.
To use this special subject index most effectively, look for the "CINAHL Subject Headings" link at the top of the page when using the CINAHL database.