Available Until 7/18/2028

Advanced PubMed: Searching for Treatments, Diseases and Drugs

For more information or to schedule this course, please contact Rebecca Brown, MLS, rebecca.brown@utah.edu .

This advanced session of PubMed focuses on search techniques to find citations that deal with treating diseases with drugs and explores the concept of pharmacologic action. We will look at indexing techniques that inform how to build a targeted search, supplementary concepts and pharmacological action terms in MeSH.

This class focuses on using the MeSH database to build searches to find citations about treating diseases with drugs. The class looks at techniques used by National Library of Medicine Indexers that can be applied to searching in PubMed. We will define pharmacologic action [PA] and identify [PA] terms in MeSH and when to use them. Supplementary Concept terms (chemicals and drugs) in MeSH will be identified. Techniques to search using Supplementary Concepts will be covered as well. 

This session uses a mixture of lecture, demonstration, hands-on exercises, plus a pre and post-test.

Course URL: https://nnlm.gov/classes/advanced-pubmed-searching-treatments-diseases-and-drugs

Learning Objectives

  1. Participants will gain a solid knowledge of how to use PubMed to find information about specific health topics.
  2. Participants will be able to effectively teach users how to use PubMed as an online resource for reliable health information research.
  3.  Participants will gain proficiency in assisting users with PubMed as a trusted, web-based health information resource.
  4. Participants will be able to explain the meaning of pharmacologic action [PA] as used in the MeSH database
  5. Participants will be able to describe when to use a [PA] term versus a [MH] term 
  6. Participants will know how to “explode” the Therapy subheading for specific treatment options
  7. Participants will know how to search effectively with Supplementary Concept terms in the MeSH database
  8. Participants will be able to describe specific indexing techniques that can be used to search for citations about treating diseases


0 – 5: Agenda, Introduction, Objectives, Pre-Test

5 - 15: Introduction to Pharmacologic Action and Demo

15 – 20: When to use a [PA] term versus a [MH]

20 – 30: Hands-on searching with [PA] and [MH] terms

30 – 35: Introduction to Supplementary Concepts and Demo

35 –  45:  Indexing Techniques (disease and drug)

45 – 60:  Hands-on Exercises; post-test

MLA CE Credits: 1