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Dementia-Related Information Sources: A Guide for Professional Caregivers: Databases

Dementia-related databases

The following databases are the free database and commercial databases (It is not a complete listthat may provide information related to dementia, whether it is from its medical, social or management aspects. 



Free databases

PubMed is an authoritative bibliographic database developed by National Library of Medicine (NLM). The covered subjects are related to Biomedical and health sciences, i.e. biotechnology,  biology,  biotechnology,  complementary medicine,  nursing,  medical sciences,  sports,  massage science,  dental,  psychology,  optical,  sports and allied health. PubMed database contains citations and abstracts of journal articles and provides links for you to get the full-text from open access journals. PubMed search facility consists of Simple search and Advanced search and equips with pre and post-search limits as well as video tutorials, make it easy to use. Another special feature of PubMed database are:

  • the subjects are indexed using controlled medical vocabulary or MeSH (Medical Subject Heading), that will help you find the most appropriate medical terms. 
  • provides other sources related to health topics, such as its administration, diagnostic technology, legislation or economic aspects of health research.
  • citations are updated daily, so it provides up-to-date information.

This database will help professionals working on dementia fields to find up-to-date scholarly materials. Health researchers with its medical-related materials needs or social care researchers and service providers (e.g. managers, decision makers etc.) who look for a review about the development of dementia care service or articles about legislation or implementation of dementia policy.



Use complete tutorial on how to conduct PubMed searches and how to use MeSH here 

If you cannot get access to the full-text article from PubMed, find it from the National Library of Australia discovery layer or Trove (use the same instruction as the search for books but for journal articles) or you can contact university library near you.


Example of dementia-related article search:

Topic: diagnosis of early onset vascular dementia 

First, access PubMed database on 

From PubMed homepage, choose Advanced search to narrow your search


Then, choose the fields where you want the terms to be found (e.g. MeSH terms, Title/abstract, Title, etc.) and use Boolean Operators (AND, OR, NOT) to combine search between fields. Then, click search.


The results will be displayed as follow:


You can further limit your search to text availability, for example, find only abstract, free full-text or full text (the latter will also view paid articles in the publisher's website).

Choose the title you would like to evaluate, then view the abstract or get the full-text (if available).

Last, you can decide if this article appropriate for your research.


PubMed Central® (PMC) is a free database contains archive literature of biomedical and life sciences, which also developed by the US National Library of Medicine (NLM). PMC uses MeSH to index the subjects so that it will help you find the most relevant medical terms. This database only provides full-text sources which can be searched by using Simple search and Advanced search, which equips with the pre and post-search limits. PMC provides video tutorials that will guide you to find and locate the appropriate literature, such as articles, book reviews, clinical trials etc easily. Regarding dementia, this database is an important source for health professionals, such as physicians, decision-makers, including medical and social researchers who look for scholarly full-text materials about dementia.        


TIPS: Use tutorial how to conduct PMC searches here


Example of dementia-related search:

Topic: Review of the development of dementia care (from economic, social and management aspects) for the decision-making process.

First, access PMC database on

From PMC homepage, choose Advanced search to search for more specific sources.


By searching from Advanced search, you can choose any fields where you want the terms to be found (e.g. title, abstract, all fields etc.). 

Because the topic search is for the decision-making process, the most suitable article might be a systematic literature review.

Then, type the terms in the chosen fields.



From the search results page, select a title to get access to the full-text.



for example, this article below. Review the abstract and the content if it suitable for your research.


DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journal) is a directory that indexes and provides access to the peer-reviewed and free full-text journals and articles. This directory is not a subject-specific information source. It covers a comprehensive subject area, such as medicine, science, social science, agricultural, education, library science, law etc. The available search facility consists of Simple search and Advanced search, where both of them presents the same interface. Many search filters provided by this directory (e.g. search by subjects, journals, publishers, language, title etc.) will help you find literature easily. Professionals working in the health sector, especially dementia, will find this directory useful because it provides scholarly scientific full-text medical literature from authoritative publishers, and other health-related literature (e.g. management aspect of health service) published in non-medical journals. 


Searching for dementia literature in DOAJ

To access DOAJ, go to

You can browse by specific subject area or use simple search and Advanced search.

If you search simple search, simply type the terms in the search box.

NOTE: Simple search and Advanced search by DOAJ show the same interface. All the terms typed in the search box will be treated using boolean AND. So that, it will result articles contain all of the words.



Search by specific subject area will narrow your search than search using simple search method.

For example search in medicine subject then continue by clicking small arrow beside the folder to internal medicine-special situations and conditions, you will find geriatrics (a specific area that focus on health care of elderly).

Click view journals/ articles within this area. 



Limit your search from filters in the left and upper page. 

Then search for a topic within this area. For example, searching for dementia care will find all the articles contain dementia AND care in the title, so does searching for vascular dementia diagnosis, will find vascular AND dementia AND diagnosis. 

To find the exact terms, use quotation marks, e.g. "vascular dementia" pharmacological will find articles about the pharmacology of vascular dementia.



Select an article to view the article's details and download the full-text.


Commercial databases


A bibliographic database developed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), the world’s largest biomedical library which coordinates network of medicinal libraries across USA. This database covers biomedical, health and life sciences related to subjects e.g. internal medicine, nursing, emergency medicine, biochemistry, behavioral sciences, allergy and Immunology, molecular biology, epidemiology, pathology, radiology, forensic sciences, dentistry, etc. Citations from MEDLINE can also can be accessed through PubMed where some of them provide access to full-text articles. MEDLINE database uses MeSH to index the subjects. With its easy-to-use search facilities and various pre and post-search limits, this database is useful for biomedical practitioners, educators, researchers, scholars of biomedical and life science, health professionals and other professions related to public health, basic research and clinical care, and health policy development. For health professionals, such as nurses, geriatrics, physicians, psychotherapists, general practitioners, pharmacist or service providers of dementia care, this database can be used to find an up-to-date information about dementia. 


Health Collection (Informit)

An authoritative database from RMIT's publishing which covers comprehensive subjects e.g. allied health, children’s health, geriatric health management, neurology, traditional medicine, nursing, pharmacology etc. The contents are based on Australasian contents which include peer-reviewed journals, reports, conference papers, e-books and evidence-based case studies. Providing simple and advanced search facilities which completed with tutorials on how to search, Health collection database is a user-friendly source. It is suitable for health professionals working on therapeutic, diagnostic, and prevention of a disease. Informit Health collection includes full-text and archive collections, where some of them journals about specific topics, such as ageing and aged care, indigenous health issues and mental health and rehabilitation. Therefore, this database is an important source to find information about dementia for health professionals, such as nurses, general practitioners, pharmacist, managers etc. 



CINAHL database is the largest nursing database from EBSCO vendor. It covers a comprehensive subject area of biomedicine, healthcare, nursing and allied health. Dating back to 1982, this database provides authoritative research journals and articles of nursing, clinical trials, research instruments, drug records, legal cases etc. CINAHL database presents an easy-to-use interface of basic and advanced search facilities completed with guidance to search. CINAHL uses MeSH to index the subjects and help users effectively search medical-related information. It's suitable for professionals e.g. nurses, researchers, general practitioners, psychiatrists etc who looking for medical information about dementia.


Health Management Database (ProQuest)

This database contains information related to healthcare management and its aspects e.g. hospitals, personnel management, public health administration, statistics, insurance, business management, ethics, law and health economics. It is an appropriate source for researchers who interested in healthcare business or decision maker in the healthcare sectors. 


NOTE: To get information from commercial databases, you will need access from the University Libraries or your local library.    

Suggested subject headings

Here are some of the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) that can be used to search dementia-related information:

  • Dementias
  • Frontotemporal Dementia
  • Huntington Disease
  • Kluver-Bucy Syndrome
  • Lewy Body Disease
  • Vascular dementias
  • Acute Onset Vascular Dementia
  • Senile Paranoid Dementia
  • Familial Dementia
  • Alzheimer Disease
  • Neurocognitive Disorders
  • etc.

This subject terms can be narrowed to subheadings such as diagnosis, prevention and control, nursing, therapy, etc.