No suitable precise or optimized epidemiologic search filters were available for bibliographic databases.

TitleNo suitable precise or optimized epidemiologic search filters were available for bibliographic databases.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsWaffenschmidt S, Hermanns T, Gerber-Grote A, Mostardt S
JournalJournal of clinical epidemiology
Volume82
Pagination112-118
Date Published2017 Feb
ISSN1878-5921
AbstractOBJECTIVES: To determine a suitable approach to a systematic search for epidemiologic publications in bibliographic databases. For this purpose, suitable sensitive, precise, and optimized filters were to be selected for MEDLINE searches. In addition, the relevance of bibliographic databases was determined. STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: Epidemiologic systematic reviews (SRs) retrieved in a systematic search and company dossiers were screened to identify epidemiologic publications (primary studies and SRs) published since 2007. These publications were used to generate a test and validation set. Furthermore, each SR's search strategy was reviewed, and epidemiologic filters were extracted. The search syntaxes were validated using the relative recall method. RESULTS: The test set comprises 729 relevant epidemiologic publications, of which 566 were MEDLINE-indexed. About 27 epidemiologic filters were extracted. One suitable sensitive filter was identified (Larney et al. 2013: 95.94% sensitivity). Precision was presumably underestimated so that no precise or optimized filters can be recommended. About 77.64% of the publications were found in MEDLINE. CONCLUSION: There is currently no suitable approach to conducting efficient systematic searches for epidemiologic publications in bibliographic databases. The filter by Larney et al. (2013) can be used for sensitive MEDLINE searches. No robust conclusions can be drawn on precise or optimized filters. Additional search approaches should be considered.
DOI10.1016/j.jclinepi.2016.08.008
Alternate JournalJ Clin Epidemiol