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Research Guides

TL1 Program Library Guide: Generating & Combining Search Terms

Search Strategy Development

What articles do you want to find?  Strategies for monitoring adherence to antiretroviral medication among people with HIV in South Africa.

  1. Identify key concepts: anti-retroviral/anti-HIV medication; medication adherence; South Africa
    • If you're familiar with the PICO/PIO/PICOT approach to framing clinical questions, this corresponds to:
      • population: people with HIV in South Africa
      • intervention: anti-retroviral therapy
      • outcome: medication adherence
  2. Generate synonyms and terms to express those concepts in different ways: anti-retroviral, antiretroviral, anti-HIV, HAART, ritonavir.
  3. Consider using quotation marks, asterisks, and MeSH terms: "anti retroviral" OR "Anti-HIV Agents"[Mesh]
  4. Each concept can be held within a set of parentheses, using OR to find articles mentioning any of the terms listed for the concept: ("anti retroviral" OR antiretroviral OR "anti-HIV" OR HAART OR "Anti-Retroviral Agents"[Mesh])
  5. Combine your key concepts using AND so each article retrieved by PubMed has to mention each concept: ("anti retroviral" OR antiretroviral OR "anti-HIV" OR HAART OR "Anti-Retroviral Agents"[Mesh]) AND (adherence OR adherent OR compliance OR compliant OR "Medication Adherence"[Mesh]) AND ("South Africa")