Appraisal of: Beynon R, Leeflang MM, McDonald S, Eisinga A, Mitchell RL, Whiting P, Glanville JM. Search strategies to identify diagnostic accuracy studies in MEDLINE and EMBASE. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2013, Issue 9.

Reviewer(s): 
Short description: 

This review assessed the performance (sensitivity, specificity and precision) of 70 filters (described in 19 studies) designed to identify diagnostic test accuracy studies for use with either the MEDLINE or Embase database. The filters were appraised for potential bias in terms of use of a diagnostic test accuracy search strategy; choice of gold standard; method of validation. The ISSG Search Filter Appraisal Checklist was used to assess quality. None of the filters tested met the pre-specified levels of sensitivity > 90% and precision >10%. Using methodological search filters as the sole method of identifying studies for systematic reviews of diagnostic test accuracy is not recommended.

Limitations stated by the author(s): 

A search for unpublished search filters was not conducted. The authors acknowledged the possibility of bias introduced by the studies that evaluated filters but did not replicate them in the paper. 

Limitations stated by the reviewer(s): 
No limitations have been identified by the reviewers.
Study Type: 
Review
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