Table 1

Single term with the best sensitivity (keeping specificity ≥50%), best specificity (keeping sensitivity ≥50%), and best optimization of sensitivity and specificity (based on the lowest possible absolute difference between sensitivity and specificity) for detecting studies of prognosis in MEDLINE in 2000

Search term OVID search*

Sensitivity (%) Development Validation Diff (95% CI)

Specificity (%) Development Validation Diff (95% CI)

Precision (%) Development Validation Diff (95% CI)

Accuracy (%) Development Validation Diff (95% CI)


exp epidemiologic studies

64.9

78.6

1.1

78.6

73.4

79.1

1.4

79.1

8.5 (-4.6 to 21.7)

0.5 (-0.3 to 1.2)

0.3 (-0.2 to 0.7)

0.5 (-0.3 to 1.2)


*The search strategy is reported using Ovid's search engine syntax for MEDLINE. The PubMed syntax is epidemiologic studies [MeSH]. Diff = Difference, comparing the development and validation data sets using the iterative method of Miettinen and Nurminen for two independent binomial proportions. None of the differences were statistically significant. exp = explode, a search term that automatically includes closely related indexing terms.

Wilczynski et al. BMC Medicine 2004 2:23   doi:10.1186/1741-7015-2-23

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