Table 3

Comparison of previously published search strategies with search strategies developed our database. Values are percentages.

Search Strategy OVID search*

Sensitivity

Specificity

Precision

Accuracy


Bachmann's most sensitive search [22]

sensitiv:.tw.

OR detect:.tw.

OR accura:.tw.

OR specific:.tw.

OR reliab:.tw.

OR positive.tw.

OR negative.tw.

OR diagnos:.tw.

100.0

Not reported

Not reported

Bachmann's strategy tested in our database

96.9

72.3

1.2

72.4

Our most sensitive search

di.fs.

OR predict:.tw.

OR specificity.tw.

100.0

70.4

1.2

70.5

Difference (our strategy – Bachmann) 95% CI for the difference

3.1 -0.8 to 8.7†

-1.9 -2.7 to -1.2‡

0

-1.9 -2.7 to -1.2‡

Bachmann's most specific search

sensitiv:.tw.

OR detect:.tw.

73.7

Not reported

Not reported

Bachmann's strategy tested in our database

79.4

90.9

3.0

90.8

Our most specific search

specificity.tw.

62.9

98.2

11.0

98.1

Difference (our strategy – Bachmann) 95% CI for the difference

-16.5 -28.9 to -3.8‡

7.3 7.0 to 7.7‡

8.0 5.6 to 11.0‡

7.3 6.9 to 7.7‡


*Search strategies are reported using Ovid's search engine syntax for EMBASE. †Differences are not statistically significant. ‡Differences are statistically significant. : = truncation; tw = textword (word or phrase appears in title or abstract); di = diagnosis; fs = floating subheading. Sensitivity = the proportion of high quality articles for that topic that are retrieved; specificity = the proportion of low quality articles not retrieved; precision = the proportion of retrieved articles that are of high quality; accuracy = the proportion of all articles that are correctly classified.

Wilczynski et al. BMC Medicine 2005 3:7   doi:10.1186/1741-7015-3-7

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