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dc.contributor.authorFraser, Cynthia Mary
dc.contributor.authorMurray, Alison Catherine
dc.contributor.authorBurr, Jennifer Margaret
dc.identifier.citationFraser , C M , Murray , A C & Burr , J M 2006 , ' Identifying observational studies of surgical interventions in MEDLINE and EMBASE ' , BMC Medical Research Methodology , vol. 6 , 41 .
dc.identifier.otherPURE: 16574146
dc.identifier.otherPURE UUID: 541c47a4-86d8-43a7-a904-4c39db33a183
dc.identifier.otherBibtex: urn:4ed7a5e1465708a828202c44fee4f434
dc.identifier.otherScopus: 33748758194
dc.identifier.otherORCID: /0000-0002-9478-738X/work/60196166
dc.description.abstractBackground: Health technology as sessments of surgical interventions frequently require the inclusion of non-randomised evidence. Literature search strategies employed to identify this evidence often exclude a methodological component because of uncertainty surrounding the use of appropriate search terms. This can result in the retrieval of a large number of irrelevant records. Methodological filters would help to minimise this, making literature searching more efficient. Methods: An objective approach was employed to develop MEDLINE and EMBASE filters, using a reference standard derived from screening the results of an electronic literature search that contained only subject-related terms. Candidate terms for MEDLINE (N = 37) and EMBASE (N =35) were derived from examination of the records of the reference standard. The filters were validated on two sets of studies that had been included in previous health technology assessments. Results: The final filters were highly sensitive (MEDLINE 99.5%, EMBASE 100%, MEDLINE/EMBASE combined 100%) with precision ranging between 16.7% – 21.1%, specificity 35.3% – 43.5%, and a reduction in retrievals of over 30%. Against the validation standards, the individual filtersretrieved 85.2% – 100% of records. In combination, however, the MEDLINE and EMBASE filters retrieved 100% against both validation standards with a reduction in retrieved records of 28.4% and 30.1% Conclusion: The MEDLINE and EMBASE filters were highly sensitive and substantially reduced the number of records retrieved, indicating that they are useful tools for efficient literature searching.
dc.relation.ispartofBMC Medical Research Methodologyen
dc.rights© 2006 Fraser et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly citeden
dc.subjectRD Surgeryen
dc.subjectQA76 Computer softwareen
dc.titleIdentifying observational studies of surgical interventions in MEDLINE and EMBASEen
dc.typeJournal articleen
dc.description.versionPublisher PDFen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. School of Medicineen
dc.description.statusPeer revieweden

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