Appraisal of: van Enst WA, Scholten RJ, Whiting P, Zwinderman AH, Hooft L. Meta-epidemiologic analysis indicates that MEDLINE searches are sufficient for diagnostic test accuracy systematic reviews. J Clin Epidemiol 2014;67(11): 1192-1199.
This paper describes an investigation into the impact of excluding studies which could not be retrieved from MDELINE on the summary relative diagnostic odds ratio of a diagnostic test accuracy systematic review. The authors identified ten reviews with 15 meta-analyses which also included searches of MEDLINE and at least one other database. The statistical analysis found that when removing studies available from databases other than MEDLINE that the summary estimates of sensitivity and specificity in the reviews remained almost unchanged. The authors conclude that restricting to studies indexed in MEDLINE did not influence the summary estimates of the meta-analyses in the 10 reviews and it might be acceptable where resources are limited to restrict searches to MEDLINE.