Table 2

Combination of terms with the best sensitivity (keeping specificity ≥50%), best specificity (keeping sensitivity ≥50%), and best optimization of sensitivity and specificity (based on abs[sensitivity-specificity]<1%) for detecting costs and economics studies in EMBASE in 2000. Values are percentages (95% CIs).

Search term OVID search*

Sensitivity (%) (Cost: n = 183; Economics: n = 31)

Specificity (%) (Cost: n = 27586; Economics: n = 27738)

Precision (%)†

Accuracy (%) (n = 27769)


Best Sensitivity – Costs exp economic aspect OR costs.tw.

100.0

93.0 (92.68 to 93.29)

8.6 (7.44 to 9.83)

93.0 (92.73 to 93.33)

Best Sensitivity – Economics cost effectiveness analysis.sh. OR randomized.tw. OR economic.tw.

100.0

92.3 (91.98 to 92.61)

1.4 (0.93 to 1.93)

92.3 (91.99 to 92.62)

Best Specificity – Costs cost effectiveness.tw. OR cost effective.tw.

54.1 (46.88 to 61.32)

99.5 (99.37 to 99.54)

39.8 (33.68 to 45.84)

99.2 (99.05 to 99.26)

Best Specificity – Economics cost effectiveness.tw. OR sensitivity analys:.tw.

51.6 (34.02 to 69.21)

99.4 (99.31 to 99.49)

8.8 (4.68 to 12.91)

99.4 (99.25 to 99.44)

Best Optimization of Sensitivity & Specificity – Costs cost.mp. OR costs.tw. OR health care cost.sh.

98.4 (96.52 to 100.20)

97.1 (96.87 to 97.27)

18.2 (15.81 to 20.63)

97.1 (96.88 to 97.28)

Best Optimization of Sensitivity & Specificity – Economics cost.tw. OR costs.tw.

96.8 (90.55 to 102.99)

97.6 (97.43 to 97.79)

4.3 (2.82 to 5.85)

97.6 (97.43 to 97.79)


*Search strategies are reported using Ovid's search engine syntax for EMBASE. †Denominator varies by row. exp = exploded subject heading; tw = textword (word or phrase appears in title or abstract); : = truncation; mp = multiple posting – term appears in title, abstract, or subject heading; sh = subject heading.

McKinlay et al. BMC Health Services Research 2006 6:67   doi:10.1186/1472-6963-6-67

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