Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 2018 Mar;95:1-6.
doi: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2017.11.017. Epub 2017 Nov 27.

The Efficiency of Database Searches for Creating Systematic Reviews Was Improved by Search Filters

Affiliations

The Efficiency of Database Searches for Creating Systematic Reviews Was Improved by Search Filters

Dalton Budhram et al. J Clin Epidemiol. .

Abstract

Objectives: To compare Clinical Queries (CQs) for randomized trials of therapy 'methods' and 'NOT' limits search filters with Cochrane methods filters.

Study design and setting: Analytic survey of Cochrane reviews as the reference standard for retrieving studies included in the reviews ("included studies [ISs]"). The sensitivity and precision of Cochrane content terms + Cochrane methods terms were compared in MEDLINE and Embase with Cochrane content terms + CQs maximally sensitive filter for therapy studies, without and with additional 'NOT' limits (CQ-S [CQ sensitive]; CQ-S + limits) and a balanced filter without and with additional NOT limits (CQ-B [CQ balanced]; CQ-B + limits).

Results: Cochrane or CQ methods terms reduced, by 64-96%, the overall retrieval of articles with minimal loss of ISs. Sensitivity was high and similar for the 4 filters. However, CQ-B + limits had the highest precision (2.64%, number needed to be read to find one eligible study [NNR] 38) followed by the CQ-B (1.05%, NNR 95), Cochrane search (0.51%, NNR 198), CQ-S + limits (0.34%, NNR 296), and CQ-S filters (0.31%, NNR 325).

Conclusion: For systematic reviews of therapeutic interventions, the efficiency of searches in MEDLINE and Embase was better served by the CQs for therapy studies with balanced methods filter and NOT limits.

Keywords: Clinical queries; Cochrane review; Embase; Information retrieval; MEDLINE; Precision; Sensitivity.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

LinkOut - more resources

Feedback