Appraisal of: Westphal A, Kriston L, Holzel LP, Harter M, von Wolff A. Efficiency and contribution of strategies for finding randomized controlled trials: a case study from a systematic review on therapeutic interventions of chronic depression. J Public H
The aim of this investigation was to assess the efficiency and contribution of additional search strategies for identifying randomized controlled trials in conducting a systematic review on the efficacy of psychotherapeutic, pharmacological and combined interventions in the treatment of chronic depression after performing a sensitive electronic database search.
Seven electronic databases, 3 journals and 11 systematic reviews were searched. All first authors of the included studies were contacted; citation tracking and a search in clinical trial registers were performed.
50 studies were included in the systematic review, wherefrom 94% were acquired by the sensitive electronic database search and 16% through additional search strategies. Screening reference lists of related systematic reviews was the most beneficial additional search strategy with a contribution of 5 additional references. Citation tracking did not lead to any further inclusion of primary studies.