Appraisal of: Glanville J, Kaunelis D, Mensinkai S. How well do search filters perform in identifying economic evaluations in MEDLINE and EMBASE. Int J Technol Assess Health Care 2009;25(4):522-529.

Short description: 
This research was undertaken to develop search filters to identify economic evaluations in MEDLINE and Embase. The performance of these filters and published filters were tested in terms of sensitivity and precision using a gold standard set of known economic evaluations. Thirteen filters for MEDLINE were tested and three yielded a sensitivity of 99%. The best precision for one of these filters was 4%. The best compromise filter provided 84% sensitivity for 13% precision. Four filters provided greater than 99% sensitivity in Embase with precision ranging from 1.5- 2.9%. The best compromise filter provided 23% precision and 63% sensitivity.
Limitations stated by the author(s): 
The study relies on a gold standard obtained from NHS EED and therefore the NHS EED filter may overperform when tested against it and also how far NHS EED represents typical economic evaluations needs to be judged. It was not possible to assess whether the search filters identified economic evaluations not captured by NHS EED. The performance of filters for finding MEDLINE in process or PubMed records was not tested. Excluding animal studies improved precision in MEDLINE but not in Embase.
Limitations stated by the reviewer(s): 
No additional limitations detected by the reviewer.
Study Type: 
Single study
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